There was a mixed reaction when Norton motorcycles announced the multi high dollar ?’Design & Licence’ agreement with Zongshen manufacturing of Chongqing, China, with many accusing the Castle Donington-based bike manufacturer of ‘selling-out’
But as Norton?CEO Stuart Garner brought up recently in a interview with motorcycle news:”this is?absolutely not the case, That it is the reverse. We’re developing the 650cc platform for ourselves after chatting with Zongshen, we’ve completely separately developed a low performance engine. The engine was made to sacrifice quality and mass-produced, with only use in the Asian region or simply South America- This engine and bike usually are not visiting Europe.”
The deal involves Norton and Zongshen coming into a 20 year Design and Licence agreement over the new 650cc twin engine. The 650cc twin engine jointly engineered and developed by Norton and Ricardo has become specifically designed to your requirements of Zongshen and will be Euro 4 compliant.
This enables Zongshen in order to satisfy current and future emissions regulations, clearly an important step for Zongshen and enables them to continue their phenomenal boost the global motorcycle market.?
The engine and its’ IP put together by Norton is specific and exclusive to Zongshen in fact it is expected the engine shall be produced within the ‘Zongshen’ or ‘Cyclone’ brands.
Value of the sale is usually to remain private, however the initial consideration paid to Norton consistantly improves huge amounts of money with the ongoing royalty on each engine produced. The agreement is designed for a 20 year term, not too long ago Zongshen produced around 4 million engines.
Norton CEO, Stuart Garner commented; “It’s an awesome endorsement of our own new 650cc engine platform and shows our prime level of engineering expertise we have at Norton.
Working with Zongshen going forwards will assist them to deliver excellent low emission engines compliant to current global standards. The commercialisation your IP is a key position for Norton and we will be investing the substantial revenue received straight into our skills, training and engineering capability, thus ensuring long term sustainability to your British made Norton motorcycles here in the UK”