Norton closes Castle Donington site and shifts HQ to West Midlands
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Norton, the motorbike manufacturer is closing its Castle Donington base and moving to a new manufacturing plant in Solihull.
The new facility, on Solar Park, is the result of a multimillion-pound investment by Norton’s Indian parent company TVS Motor Company, which says it will be the most advanced in the 122-year-old motorcycle brand’s history.
Fifty jobs will be created with the prospect of more to follow, says Norton. Commissioning is near completion and opening is expected in Q1 of this year
The premises will be the central hub for all of Norton operations, providing a permanent base for all staff. The new headquarters will be home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support teams as well as the skilled production team that is resuming manufacture of motorcycles. Some of the specialist tooling and equipment previously used by Norton has been carried over to the new site in Solihull, but the site is benefiting from substantial new investment.
Norton will resume production of the Commando Classic model at the Solihull site, building a limited quality to honour customers that had ordered and paid for a deposit on these bikes. Production of the V4SS will commence soon and the full opening of the facility is expected in Q1 2021.
Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director of TVS Motors, said: “The opening of the new headquarters represents a significant step forward for Norton Motorcycles. The opening of this state-of-the-art facility will create the foundations for a sustainable long-term future of Norton. The new bikes will meet the world class standards our customers expect.
“2020 has been a tough year for the world but we are excited to be moving into our new home and we are delighted this has been created by the Norton and TVS teams in just 9 months. This new facility underpinned by strong quality processes will produce bikes truly worthy of the illustrious Norton brand and take it into the future. We are setting out to create a future for the company, our employees, our customers and our partners that lives up to the highest expectations and enable Norton to once again become the real force its history deserves.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The arrival of Norton’s global headquarters to Solihull is a real vote of confidence in our region as we look to recover from the pandemic. It speaks volumes to the strides the West Midlands has taken forward in recent years that Norton has chosen to come home after more than a decade based outside the region. This investment not only re-establishes our historic partnership with Norton, but will set a world-class benchmark for exceptional motorcycle manufacturing at the heart of our region, creating hundreds of jobs in the process at what is an incredibly challenging time economically.
“This investment also represents the start of an important partnership between the West Midlands and TVS Motors. With Tata-owned JLR also based in the region, the West Midlands has a good relationship with India that we are constantly looking to improve through the West Midlands India Partnership. This investment by Norton exemplifies what exactly we are trying to achieve with the partnership, and I am delighted to welcome the company back home.”
TVS Motor Company bought Norton out of administration in April 2020.