With its far more modern facilities,...
With its far more modern facilities, the Schiranna plant has become the main factor in MV’s growth, both now and in the future.
“Since I left Ducati I met with Claudio just once, two years ago for fun. When he sold Ducati to TPG he was very sorry, and our relationship stopped as he didn’t want to think about Ducati. He didn’t want to sell but was forced to because the Cagiva Group needed restructuring; it was like letting go of a child. In 2008 we had dinner together and it was like being friends again. Then he called me and asked if I thought he should buy the company (MV Agusta) back when Harley decided to sell. I told him, ‘Don’t do it, keep your money and go to the beach.’ In my opinion MV was too small, it would need a huge investment to grow to a size of 20,000 bikes a year, the minimum to get enough cash flow to go forward and invest in future products. MV only made 4 or 5000 bikes a year, so in my view it would be a nightmare. But as soon as Claudio knew I left Same Deutz-Fahr he called and said, ‘Why don’t you come and work with me?’ I told him again not to do it! But that is the difference between us — he is an entrepreneur, I am a manager, and he saw the potential even if I didn’t. Somehow like a fish he caught me and now I am Vice President! I am very happy, I have my passion for bikes back again.”
But now that he is back with MV, does he see the company under Castiglioni succeeding where both Harley and Proton before failed?
While MV Agusta will make...
While MV Agusta will make about 4000 bikes this year, Bordi is projecting that the company will be producing about 20,000 units in three or four years.
“After Harley’s investment (estimated to be around €250 million) the company has strong assets. Claudio has put his own money in but Harley left us with no debts and most importantly two fresh engines, the heavily updated F4 and the new F3. A new lifecycle has started and with the F4 and F3 we will create sportsbikes and also a range of Brutale naked bikes. This year we will make 4000 bikes, which is about €50 million revenue, but 2012 I think we can go up to €80 million and 7000 bikes, which is when we break even and start earning money. I think in three or four years maximum we will be at 20,000 bikes — I have no doubt, 100 percent sure.”
Considering the current economic climate, is this really an achievable target? Especially considering MVs are premium-priced products?
“We are not a mass producer, we are a niche market manufacturer, but we have one of the strongest brands in the world, such a history. It is an easy brand to develop. You need heritage to revamp a brand, which is why Aprilia are struggling. You can revamp Jaguar or Norton but starting from zero is not as easy. We have a premium price but we are shifting our place in the market. We are reducing the prices of the bikes so they are still premium but in a larger market area. Even if the market is down, a small percentage of a large pie is more than a big percentage of a small pie. We will do this with the 675 and a new 800 Brutale in the future as well, placing it in a premium product place, but not too much more expensive. Considering the price, brand and the fact the bike is very beautiful I think the Brutale 675 and 800 will sell a lot of bikes, it could be like Ducati’s Monster range and appeal to young people, women and those who want to go into the city and want the power but also show — a lifestyle bike.”
Having designed some of the most iconic bikes in the world, what can be found in Mr Bordi’s garage? “I don’t own any bikes, I have three horses! Three horse power. I don’t like to wear a helmet, you can’t talk to anyone and I think I am too old to ride. I don’t even have a 916 in a cabinet, which is very wrong I suppose. The bike I would like to have in my personal museum is a Ducati 888, the last one before the 916. This is the best Ducati, the 916 is elegant but the 888 is the best.” SR