Harley-Davidson selling MV Agusta

The Motor Company shedding Italian brand

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Oct. 15, 2009
Harley-Davidson President Matt Levatich says MV Agusta is “well positioned for the future” as the parent company seeks a buyer for the Italian subsidiary.

Harley-Davidson announced in its third quarter 2009 report it will discontinue Buell and sell MV Agusta in an attempt to focus on the core Harley brand.

The decision to stop producing Buell was surprising news, as was the decision to sell MV Agusta which had only been a member of the Harley-Davidson since August 2008.

“This decision was not made lightly. MV Agusta is a great company with a proud heritage and brand, high-quality exciting products, and a passionate team with whom we have achieved a great deal over the past 14 months,” says Levatich, former president and managing director of MV Agusta.

“Our objective in acquiring MV Agusta last year was primarily to expand our presence in Europe, and was a recognition of MV Agusta’s proud legacy. While growth in Europe and other global markets remains highly important to us, we believe that focusing our efforts on the Harley-Davidson brand is the optimal path to sustainable growth,” says Levatich.

MV Agusta recently introduced two updated models including the Brutale 1090RR.Since acquiring 100% share of MV Agusta, Harley-Davidson restarted production at the company’s factory in Varese, Italy. Product development also resumed, leading to the introduction of the 2010 Brutale 990R and 1090RR.

“With a streamlined business and such an exciting product pipeline we sincerely believe that MV Agusta is well positioned for the future,” says Levatich.

Where that future leads remains up in the air as Harley-Davidson seeks an interested buyer. Recent reports from Italy have resurrected a long-standing rumor of automaker Volkswagen looking to add a motorcycle division. Ducati has been the rumored target of VW chairman Ferdinand Piech, but news of MV Agusta’s availability may lead the German carmaker to consider a different Italian brand. Depending on how quickly a buyer does emerge however, the updated Brutale models may be the only MV Agustas produced under Harley-Davidson ownership.

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