Norton Motorcycles: What Happened to All Their Money?

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By Wade Thiel

Norton Made £6.7 Million, So What Happened?

I’m not one with inside knowledge of Norton Motorcycles, but I will say that it seems like things should have worked, at least from what was out there in the news. But the company entered administration. According to MoreBikes, the company’s sales resulted in £6.7 million last year. The company also had dealings with the Chinese company Zhongshen, Japan (an export deal), a British government grant, and money from Santander. All of this stuff happened over the last few years.

Additionally, they started a crowd-funding campaign and then received £1 million from an anonymous investor. I’m sure there were other things that I don’t know about, too. So how does a company miss a payment of £300,000? Well, according to MoreBikes, despite sales accounting for £6.7 million, the company only had £33,701 pre-tax profit.

That’s not a lot of breathing room. The company was investing heavily in future products and developing the future of Norton Motorcycles. All of that contributed to poor profits. Despite this, it still seems there should have been plenty to go around. The company had deposits on bikes and was failing to make those bikes, essentially not delivering on a product that customers wanted to pay money for.

As I said above, I don’t have an inside line on what was going on at Norton, but just from the little information I’ve outlined above, it looks to me like the company had good products priced right for their customer base, but was mismanaged and struggling to deliver. It sounds like it made too many investments and was focused on the future when it should have been worried about delivering the bikes it already had deposits for.

Let’s hope someone out there can take the Norton name and bikes and turn …read more

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