• Apr 14th 2010 at 6:31PM
  • 11
When Volkswagen and Suzuki announced they would be joining forces after what seemed like years worth of rumors, the motorcycling community naturally took notice. After all, VW head Ferdinand Piech is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and had repeatedly expressed a desire to add a high-performance European motorcycle manufacturer to the German automaker's mix of vehicles. Further, Suzuki is a highly respected player in the two-wheeled world all around the globe.

Now, rumor has it that the Volkswagen/Suzuki partnership could actually end up resurrecting an iconic German brand from the ashes of obscurity: NSU. Though the company is often remembered for the pioneering work it performed on the Wankel rotary engine, NSU first rose to fame after World War II with a range of innovative small-displacement bikes and was the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer by 1955.

Sadly, NSU quickly faded away as its rotary-powered automobiles proved somewhat less than reliable. Whether or not there is any truth to these reports remains to be seen, but it's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. Way back in 1969, VW acquired NSU and merged it into the company we now know as the four-ringed Audi brand. Does any of this mean that NSU is soon to be back in business? No, not really... but that doesn't mean we can't keep the dream alive.

[Source: Automobile Magazine | Image: Lothar Spurzem – CC 2.0]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      VW should simply buy MZ... they made much better motorcycles than NSU.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If VW want an upscale European motorbike I not just brand it a Porsche?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This makes no sense for the North American market. This makes perfect sense in the European and Asian markets. I would bet they would lean more towards the scooters and single cylinder commuters. I don't think they would have to resurrect the name to be effective either. If they could get some sort of foothold in S. Korea and China they really don't have to do well anywhere else.
      • 5 Years Ago
      At no time was NSU "the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world"

      Their numbers are inflated because they produced a lot of scooters under license from Lambretta in the 50's.

      NSU never approached the actual motorcycle production at manufacturers like BSA for example.

      And with the motorcycle market tanked for the past several years, count on VW to never make a stupid business decision like starting up a motorcycle division.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For VW to resurrect a dead brand it seems suspect. Bike enthusiasts are not clamoring for it to come back. I would expect the reception to be about the same as the late 90s Henderson rebirth (which yielded a massive production run of under 2000 bikes, many that remained unsold right up to their re-death).

      Other than Suzuki getting an infusion of needed money, I do not see why VW would enter a market that is stagnant, due mainly to a scared populace.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Frankly the MC industry is in the most desperate straights (sales down over 40%) since the early 80's and for the same reason, baby boomers are moving beyond the age when they are buying MCs. In the 80's MC were traded for baby carriages and houses, today its golf carts and walkers.

      Nobody remembers NSU and no one will care if the brand is resurrected.
      • 5 Years Ago
      isn't Moto Guzzi still for sale?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wasn't NSU the company who made the rotary engine motorcycles??
        • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes...and Suzuki also built a licensed version, ironically enough.
      • 5 Years Ago
      if they dare bring back the TT i will personally fly to germany and set a flaming bag of my pooh on the front door.
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