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franklin and MV part company

Mark Franklin has parted company with MV Agusta. Franklin had been promoted to sales director Europe in September last year having built up the UK network and overseen a sharp rise in registrations.

Then, in our April issue, BDN reported that CEO Giovanni Castiglioni had decided to restructure the iconic Italian marque, with its German partner, Mercedes/AMG watching tight-lipped from the sidelines.

Castiglioni said MV needed more money to “deliver the next stage of the plan”. The Germans, who own a 25% stake, would only contribute in return for more control, which was not acceptable to Castiglioni. MV is still in negotiations with its creditors.

While the battle for control has raged behind the scenes, motorcycle production at the MV Varese factory has slowed over the past few months as some suppliers ceased deliveries. In the UK, the manufacturer had to redistribute bikes already with dealers to try to supply buyers.

Against this background of uncertainty, Franklin issued the following statement: “I have today [21 April] agreed my mutual release with MV Agusta and wish the company well for the future in the direction they wish to travel. The team of David Wilson and Ray Phillips will remain in the UK as a contact point for the future for MV-related matters.

“Thank you all for your various activities and support/collaborations and I look forward to working with you again in the near future in some capacity.”

When Franklin was promoted to sales director Europe after 15 months as UK country manager, he stressed the need for stability to rebuild dealer and public trust in the marque. “We [the UK] are now the fourth biggest market in the world for MV. You have to bear in mind we are a niche brand so the numbers are not staggering, but for MV it’s a reasonable size business and the company is very happy. We have gone from selling 90 bikes a year ago to a projected total of 650 for this year so the increase has been pretty big.”

In March, addressing news of the crisis, he said MV had enjoyed its strongest year in company history in 2015. “It has been common knowledge for some time that the company needed to recapitalise to deliver the next stage of the plan and this takes time and negotiation … It’s my hope that this period passes as quickly as possible to minimise the commercial effects on the global and UK business.

“In the interim, we will do our best to manage the situation locally [in the UK].”

 

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