TVS Motor Company has announced major changes in the management that runs the Norton Motorcycles, owned by the Indian two-wheeler manufacturer. The company has appointed Robert Hentschel as the Chief Executive Officer and Vittorio Urciuoli as Chief Technical Officer of the motorcycle brand. TVS has announced that these changes will form the next phase of the historic brand's transformation.
The announcement also means that John Russell will step down from his role as Interim CEO of the motorcycle brand.
Hentschel has served as Managing Director at the Automotive Holding GmbH & Co KG since 2017. Earlier, he also led Ricardo Deutschland and Hentschel System and was the Director of Lotus Engineering.
Hentschel said, "It is an honour to take over the stewardship of Norton at this exciting time in the company’s remarkable 123-year history. To help restore such an iconic and much-loved marque to its rightful place on the global stage is a once- in-a-lifetime career opportunity. Under the strategic direction of TVS Motor, Norton has already achieved incredible success which includes being rescued from administration and beginning the rebuilding process. A highly motivated team has been assembled, bringing around 100 new skilled jobs to the region, to which we will be adding more in the future as the business grows. Norton is once again poised to build the finest motorcycles in the world."
Vittorio Urciuoli also comes with a lot of experience in the automotive industry. He has been the Director of URVI LTD, Head of Powertrain at Lotus Cars and Project Leader at Ferrari and Aprilia Racing.
"The Norton name has such a special place in the heart of every motorcycle enthusiast around the globe. Being the first manufacture to win the famous Isle of Man TT race in 1907, no other motorcycle has such an evocative name and superlative history. It’s every engineer’s dream to work for a company of such rich heritage. Now though, our sights are set firmly on the future. With the backing of TVS and the opening of the new state-of-the-art manufacturing process, everything is in place to take Norton to the next stage," Urciuoli said.
Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director of TVS Motors, said, "TVS has created a plan for Norton to transform into the future. The brand will retain its core values which will be interpreted in a modern way for the customers of today and tomorrow. As part of this we are excited to welcome on board a new management team led by Robert to lead this next phase of the journey."
"His passion for customers, brands and the future of mobility will be of immense value to Norton. Vittorio has a tremendous commitment and track record of creating world class products, which is key to the future of the brand. Both of them are strong engineers with pedigree on the world stage. Along with the entire TVS team, I look forward to working together with them for the revitalisation of one of the world’s most storied brands," Venu added.
Venu also highlighted Norton Motorcycles' roadmap for the future. He said, "I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Russell for his accomplished leadership, experienced judgement and clear vision that he has displayed during his time as interim CEO of Norton. Under John's tenure, with investment and support from TVS, Norton has returned to a firm footing and made marked improvements to engineering and product quality, which will be seen in the updated V4SS that will be launched soon. In addition, we have established a new, state-of-the-art global design, engineering, manufacturing and sales and marketing HQ in Solihull. Thanks to John and many other colleagues’ exceptional endeavour, Norton is poised to move to the next stage of its rebirth and deliver significant growth."
Russell was appointed to stabilise the company shortly after TVS acquired Norton in April 2020. Russell helped create a platform that now enables Norton to begin making and delivering advanced technology motorcycles.