Breaking News. Harley-Davidson Acquires 100% Of Italian MV Agusta

On June 5th, I published an article advising you that Harley-Davidson was in advanced talks to buy Italian manufacturer MV Agusta (see original article HERE). Many of you were skeptical, but I knew that my sources were very reliable. Now it’s official. Harley-Davidson bought all MV Agusta Group shares for a total consideration of approximately 70 million Euros (about $110 million), which includes the satisfaction of existing bank debt for approximately 45 million Euros ($70 million).” MV Agusta Group is a privately held corporation where the Castiglioni family owned 95 % of MVAG shares. During this last year MV Augusta had severe financial problems with its 2 lines of motorcycles, the high-performance sport motorcycles sold under the name MV Agusta, and the lightweight motorcycles lines sold under the brand Cagiva. Most of its motorcycles are sold in Europe via 500 dealers. Now, all speculations can be made about the way Harley-Davidson is going to exploit this acquisition. Harley-Davidson, Inc. plans to continue to operate MV Agusta Group from its headquarters based in Varese, Italy. MV Augusta acquisition is intended primarily to expand Harley-Davidson presence and footprint in Europe, complementing the Harley-Davidson and Buell motorcycle families. What is your point of view?

21 Responses to “Breaking News. Harley-Davidson Acquires 100% Of Italian MV Agusta”

  1. 1 Dave B. Jul 11th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    I am curious to see what develops from this… does HD actually care about MV Augusta and wants to build on that line, or perhaps beef up their sportbike beyond the Buells, or is this just a quick solution to becoming a european manufacturer and enjoying the benefits that brings with it.
    I’m not a crotch rocket guy, but I can see some benefits for HD here.

  2. 2 Mario Van den Broeck Jul 11th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I am very happy to welcome these pearls of Italian design and I am sure that we have the perfect dealerships worldwide to assure a Premium distribution for a very enthusiast public of Sportbike riders.

    Mario Van den Broeck.
    2008 Harley-Davidson International Dealer Awards winner Belux for outstanding performance and longevity.

  3. 3 Fred Jul 11th, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    OMG. Good idea for Harley to have income in euros. I think Buell was doing bad, ayway.

  4. 4 Brandon Jul 11th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Very interestig news. Can be exciting to imagine Harley offering a true sport bike with Italian pedigree. A new young clientele for the old Milwaukee factory. Cool.

  5. 5 Phast Jul 11th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    We lost our leadership. America is going abroad to find new good products. It can’t imagine and create.

  6. 6 krugger Jul 11th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I’m ready to build a MV Caféracer…..

  7. 7 Mario Van den Broeck Jul 11th, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Krugger, I am with you Fred!

  8. 8 Nicker Jul 11th, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Doesn’t make much sense on it’s face….

    What happened to their deal with Armanchi….???

    Is-zis another Ford-Jag or Daimler-Chrysler thing….???

    The guys at MV are in for one Hell of a culture shock…. 🙂


  9. 9 Donnie Jul 11th, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    It was a good info you gave us in June. I guess HD knows what they are doing.

  10. 10 Titus Jul 12th, 2008 at 3:51 am

    You know, ebullient geniuses like Castiglioni and Tamburini just have not to boxed in the vile money matter… Like artists, they need of an illuminated client, a guy (or a company) like the roman Caius Clinius Maecenas. He was the patron of the artists, yes, but through them he practically strongly backed the Emperor’s politics. Since Castiglioni is a guy that spares no expense to make his two-wheeled dreams and I guess it’s the only way he knows, HD ought be wise and “discreet” to handle him and Tamburini and cleverly support them avoiding to “pervert” their nature. If so, they will continue to create fantastic motor bikes for the joy of all us and HD will consolidate it’s empire of motor emotions. Castiglioni and Tamburini LOVE motorcycles more than they love money, they are pure passion. Is that really a bug? Please, let them work freely.

  11. 11 rodent Jul 12th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    See ya Eric, Buells don’t sell and MV will be a great replacement

  12. 12 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian MotorCycles Jul 12th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    It is an interesting cross roads for Harley and it’ll be interesting to see what becomes of this after a few years. Can’t help but wonder what Eric Buell is thinking of it as he is one talented man and I feel should have been given more of a free hand by Harley. His new bike has awesome engineering in it. Hopefully Eric will be able to share his influences in MV as he is one of the greats too. One only has to spend a few minutes with this guy to feel his enthusiasm and engineering expertise.

  13. 13 Chris Callen - Source Editor Jul 12th, 2008 at 10:47 am


    I’m thrilled about this as I think it will give H-D the chance to compete on an open market with the top sport bike manufacturers however they implement it.

    Kudos to Harley for realizing that this is a time to diversify. With so many new types of client in motorcycling today it would be hard to just sell the same product with a different paint job to all of them. By doing this they will have a new demographic entirely.

    There is also the possibility that this was a move to consolidate the two efforts of MV and Buell. I think that there are few if any sport bikes if any that beat Eric’s suspension and handling design and with the additions they made in the latest 1125R that company has a solid foundation. There was talk of a Buell competition four stroke motocross type bike earlier this past year and this was another branch of diversity I believe the company should reach out to. Motorcycling starts at the armature level, with your dad, at the local race tracks for many young Americans, why shouldn’t Harley or Buell have a presence there? Why should Harley or Buell have a truck at the end of manufacturers row during the Superbike events? These are events where the core young audience of motorcycling gathers and being there is half the battle.

    Just my two cents.

  14. 14 burnout Jul 12th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    I agree with Titus,Kiwi AND Chris. In my area we have very few Buell bikes but the ones we have are an absolute blast (no pun intended) to ride. MV is a little out of my range but still the ones I have ridden are super. I have too many bikes anyway. It will be very interesting to see what develops out of this deal. peace

  15. 15 J Jul 12th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Actually, it makes a lot of sense for HD- they get an upscale brand above Buell that won’t impact existing HD sales, and gives HD a scooter market that they also can cross-sell Harley products into;

    Biggest question to me is how they structured the financing- using debt to pay down debt won’t help the earnings- don’t look for any rebound in the common shares anytime soon.

  16. 16 Big Joe Jul 12th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    I hope it does well and is part of a much bigger picture for the factory. There is so much potential for the Buell line up and HD has failed to use the V-Rod platform up to it’s potential. The Dark Custom program didn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s not a big step to embrace flat finishes and springer seats. And lets face it the Rocker came in Years Late and More than dollars short.

    Just so I’m not totally negative. Thank God for Harley Davidson for keeping an industry alive for so many years. None of what we do in the V-Twin industry would be here had it not lasted so long.

    Thank God for the original Indian too, Didn’t want to leave you out Kiwi!


  17. 17 Fausto Simoes Jul 13th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    You can tell this is only the beginning of a very interesting story.

  18. 18 Stefy Jul 14th, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Titus is totally right…Tamburini is the best bike designer in the world and the Brutale is the best stock bike ever built in the morocycle history! So HD let him work freely…

    @Nicker: The joint venture AERMACCHI H-D motorcycles dead in late ’70 … AERMACCHI original airpalane brand/factory is still alive and producing

  19. 19 Pepper Jul 14th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    This is Just HD’s quick fix to completely forgetting about the Upcoming 18 to 28 demographic that want nothing to do with the now slowing cruiser and “chopper” sales. hopefully they will let the Italians continue to build the bikes the way they always have and not interfere. In fact maybe HD can learn a few quality control tricks as the reliability of the HD line has gone down hill since they increased production and flooded the market with bikes in the last few years . We will just have to wait and see.

  20. 20 toph Jul 14th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    i like the forward, aggressive thinking of the MOCO. i think the air cooled mill is reaching the end of its shelf-life- environmentally for sure.

    here in California, it’s getting almost impossible to even get hi-po parts shipped in, let alone finding a shop that’s willing to ‘tamper’ with the epa/carb laws. however much power a stock bike has, many find them slow, and sonically uninspiring.

    mv has a proven, world class, liquid cooled, inline 4. maybe h-d will use mv’s engineering prowess to further develop their next gen water head. the v-rod motor is a good motor, but too big dimensionally to easily use it in other platforms.

    buell’s flagship currently uses a farmed-out rotax motor. with h-d owning both buell and mv, i can see further development of buell into the big leagues. racing, name recognition among the younger crowd, winning.

    anyway- good for h-d.

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