• Aug 6th 2010 at 1:57PM
  • 31
2010 MV Agusta Brutale 990R – Click above for high-res image gallery

We'd heard the rumors and now it's official. Harley-Davidson has announced that it has sold the MV Agusta brand to Claudio Castiglioni and his wholly owned holding company, MV Agusta Motor Holding, S.r.l. For those who aren't exactly up on their boutique Italian motorcycle history, Castiglioni is the same man H-D bought the company from back in 2008 and had been serving as company chairman ever since.

No actual financial data has yet been announced, but rumors from Italy have it that the Italian businessman isn't actually paying anything more than a single symbolic euro for the storied motorcycle manufacturer and may even be getting some additional financial support from Harley-Davidson for the foreseeable future.

Couple those reports with the realization that H-D payed $109 million for MV Agusta just two years ago and subsequently spent big money to revamp the Italian manufacturer's product lineup and it's easy to see that the Milwaukee-based company is coming out the biggest loser in this exchange.

Harley is showing no (official) hard feelings, though. "MV Agusta is a proud brand and we wish Mr. Castiglioni and the company's employees well," Harley-Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Wandell said in a statement. Feel free to peruse the official press release after the break.

[Source: Harley-Davidson]
Show full PR text

MILWAUKEE, Aug. 6, 2010 -- Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) has concluded the sale of its subsidiary, MV Agusta, to Claudio Castiglioni and his wholly owned holding company, MV Agusta Motor Holding, S.r.l., effective today.
Castiglioni is the former owner of the Italian motorcycle maker and has served as MV Agusta's chairman since 2008, when Harley-Davidson acquired the company.

In October 2009, Harley-Davidson announced its intention to sell MV Agusta as part of a new corporate strategy to focus resources on the Harley-Davidson brand. Since then, Harley-Davidson has held discussions with various potential MV Agusta buyers.

"MV Agusta is a proud brand and we wish Mr. Castiglioni and the company's employees well," said Harley-Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Wandell. "Our decision to divest MV Agusta reflects our strategy to focus our efforts and our investment on the Harley-Davidson brand, as we believe this provides an optimal path to long-term growth."

Company Background

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company (HDMC), Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) and Buell Motorcycle Company (Buell).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Never should have bought it in the first place. What a bonehead move HD.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Harley-Davidson...the only motorcycle in the world that needs illegal REALLY LOUD PIPES to run worth a damn...had four of em...then bought hearing aid...couldn- afford another HD
        • 5 Years Ago
        HD initially needed the really loud pipes to make sure the engine was still running being they broke down so often. Now it's just so they can get noticed. They still can't beat anyone in a heads up race. NHRA has a lot of HD's racing now because of the rules. They made the jap bikes(fast bikes) add an extra 30lbs and reduced the engine size. It would be great if HD would just go ahead and build a performance model. Not everyone likes how a HD sounds but they would like to buy American. I also don't want to have rules made to slow down other bikes so I can compete. They would open another potentially large area of sales if they would build something more than a traditional blap, blap, blap caching my shifter fell off, blap, blap, blap, caching my starter just fell off etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Amen Arden.
        I'm glad MV is back in CC's hands though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Hey, Lets buy MV for $100 Million dollars, then give it back for one dollar. Lets also close Buell Motorcycles at a cost of $125 Million dollars, but not sell the company... just cancel the brand.

        That way, we can spend $225+ Million dollars to get rid of two sportbike brands. That's how much we here at Harley-Davidson Motor Company hate performance-based motorcycles!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cut the baggage for the recolation to Georgia.
      • 5 Years Ago
      HD and MV made no sense in the first place.
      • 5 Years Ago
      welcome home MV, now let's see that middleweight triple!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good. MV in the hands of Harley made zero sense.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Say hello to my little friend VMAX
      • 5 Years Ago
      Say what you will about HDs performance. I have a V-Rod that will give most rice/pasta/kraut fueled bikes a run!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, the V-Rod is fast, but not quite there with the best of the best. Put two equal riders aboard a V-Rod and a top liter sports bike and there'd be little contest. But your "rice/pasta/kraut" comment sounds like the same ol' Harley banter. How to take anything serious when that crap is passed around. Grow up!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @rickusack - You seem to have the same mindset of those who deride HD childishly. When you attempt to compare a power cruiser with a sport bike, you lose. May as well continue the absurd comparison by deriding the sport bike for being painful on long trips, or the VRod for not being able to handle as good as a sport bike. Then continue it over to the automotive world by deriding a Taurus SHO for being crushed by a 911 in performance.

        The VRod is a rather nice cruiser, definitely at the top part of the performance cruiser list.

        This is not to say that HD should only be cruisers, with a light smattering of a few street bikes (like the 1200x). They need some sport bikes, and more street (naked) bikes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, with an engine designed by Porsche...
        • 5 Years Ago
        hello to all.

        @ dirty red, it is a pleasure to meet you.

        yes, the v-rod is a very good bike. however, it was heavily criticized by the "faithful" for not being a "cruiser".

        but i digress. this announcement is more about a boneheaded manuever by h-d. spend 100 million for mv agusta, spend more to get it in shape, then sell the company back to the guy whom you bought it from for one euro?

        yet refuse to sell buell to a willing buyer twice? especially when you want to retrench? and threaten to move the engine facility away from wisconsin?

        h-d is not willing to build a business. nor is willing to hang on when things get really tough. but that is alright. we shall see.

        • 5 Years Ago
        @dirtyred...sure, on a drag strip.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My first thought was "Good for MV". After seeing how HD did Eric Buell and Buell Motor Company I have to say I was saddened when I saw that they had purchased MV Agusta because that meant I could never buy one... It seems that Harley is totally unaware that it's customer base is aging and young guys what to lean forward... Eric Buell racing has already proved that Harley was keeping them from building truly competitive race bikes because their 1190RR is killing the competition in AMA this summer. Harley would have eventually destroyed the MV Agusta performance reputation and legacy...
      • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        Probably, if your tastes run to cruisers that still look like it's 1950.

        For others, it is effing beautiful.
      • 5 Years Ago
      H-D have been here before; they lost the Italian AerMacchi company after buying it to break into the sport and racing segment. MV Agusta produced motorcycles for a short while; their legendary "fire engines" of the 50s and 60s won many races piloted by the worlds best riders. MV abandoned motorcycles and continued making helicopters; that should have been the end of it.
      H-D have a unique segment in the market, one long supported by its domestic and export sales. H-D have had great success in the past with their traditional flat trackers; it was a big mistake to buy an off the wall Italian marque and jetison the sturdy Buell range. Millions of dollars later, they have nothing to show and oil on their faces.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is the Harley management just like that of old GM?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like some smart business decisions being made up there in Milwaukee.

      Wonder if I could get them to buy my house for 500K, let me live there for 2 years while they make major renovations, then sell it back to me for a dollar?
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