MV Agusta has been entirely Russian-owned since Timur Sardarov, 38, completed his family’s acquisition of the historic Italian brand in December 2019, with another injection of cash sufficient to give them 100% ownership of the company. He’s believed to have invested almost 100 million euro in acquiring full control of MV, most of which has been devoted to recapitalising the company after three decades of its ownership flipping between the Castiglioni family and various outside interests (Proton, Gevi Bank, Harley-Davidson, AMG), ever since Cagiva’s then owner Claudio Castiglioni acquired it from the Agusta family in 1991.
The chance to speak with Timur Sardarov came after the company’s recovery from the initial wave of Covid-19 which had disrupted its operations, and revealed some exciting pointers for its future.
Everyone [at MV Agusta] speaks very well of you since you took over running the company. Is this popularity something you purposely set out to achieve?
That’s good to hear, because for me, what’s very important is the internal atmosphere here. What I didn’t like about this company before was that there was a clear division between management and workers. But for me there should be no difference between an executive and a mechanic. You know, managers sometimes are doing their job incorrectly, by being lazy, by not being clever, by being too proud. Mechanics in MV Agusta so far never failed the company - but engineers and management sometimes failed it. So that’s why we’ve built the social areas here in the factory, to promote a sense of togetherness in the company. My doors are open for every single person, from the humblest assembly line worker or cleaner on up, to come in and express any concerns and suggestions to me. We include all the company in decision making, so we have very transparent plans, we do internal surveys in which everyone participates, and we publish strategy documents. Any person who works here and has the ability to ride our bikes can do so anytime they want - we have a special fleet for the workers to use. Because for me, it’s important to build a sense of family – and I want people who play a role in creating our products to know what it is they’re creating, by actually riding them.
I believe you have a lot of all-new products coming up in the next two to three years?
Correct. The most important will be our 950cc three-cylinder motor, which is a brand new engine for a new platform which will have several different variations incorporating innovative technology. Our 800cc three-cylinder engine is already the best in class, and our three-cylinder 950 will be, too – although I doubt very much there will be anything in the marketplace to be compared to it.
Is that because you’re developing a supercharged version of it, as rumoured?
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