Giovanni Castiglioni — MV Agusta CEO exclusive interview

17 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Giovanni Castiglioni — MV Agusta CEO exclusive interview отключены
MV Agusta F4 1000 R Scuderia Ferrari

Giovanni Castiglioni – Interview – Keep it in the family

It’s a hot May Day in Varese Italy and I’m sat in Giovanni office, MV Agusta CEO since the buy from Harley-Davidson. Giovanni, 30, in his father Claudio Castiglioni ’s whom have since away due to illness.

By Tor Sagen/Photo:

I’m greeted by a smartly dressed man in a suit and white Converse Castiglioni very much a younger version of his father I interviewed in a conference room three years ago down to the of the hair do. We start talking an espresso.

TS How has the time been the buy-back of MV Agusta from

GC “We took over the company in August 2010 and we went serious restructuring of the company. in terms of products and real We had to reduce the number of employees was over structured compared to the of the business. But not many, I’m talking maybe 10% of the workforce and only collar workers. We went re-structuring of all cost in the company.

from general suppliers, not suppliers, management benefits, car Telephones, everything and we managed to a lot. Because we reduced workforce and the structure of the company 50% of the cost. So this is also a approach to marketing and sales and lead to a company that was money.

In the first 4months of the new we reduced the losses by 50%. The two months of 2011 we cut the losses by again and now we’re close to even. If our company hadn’t had the RD because of the development of the new products already have been so the company has made a big step. I this is great but we didn’t work on the cost structure we worked on the product.

We’ve able to reduce through by 8% the cost of goods without bike but working with the through new design of parts or deals with suppliers and 8% is another 1.5 million Euro we’ve saved per year. And we can do And then first approach the business and restructure and then at the product and repositioning the product a bit.

This is why we got into the with the new Brutale 920. MV was always positioned between euro and this is a small of the market and as the market decreased in this part of the market so we said; let’s introduce a that doesn’t offend the bikes but is cheaper and more But it’s not a cheap bike in of looks or in terms of real because this price at is for the Brutale 920 and this bike us many sales.

We were to produce 1.500 units and we we’ll do more. The bike is and very driveable. And it is less than its two sisters and it’s in direct competition with the and Triumph and so on. So this is the first we did to create an entry level

GC “We follow the Porsche method, not because Porsche developed our and production line but because we that they have a good philosophy with They have their 911 is our 4 cylinder F4 and the Brutale family. have the Cayman which is our 920 so a bit below the top models.

Then we introduced the F4 RR which is our 911 at 23K Euro. In these months we managed to pass from a Euro range to 11.9-23K range and it’s already the market and then we have all the cylinders coming so this is what we did in these last six a bit of restructure and repositioning.”

TS Is the 4 cylinder now complete with standard F4, an RR plus 3 different Brutale

GC “Yes, we will always developing the F4, the Brutale and the engines, we always go on but we have consolidated our We will not make a 4cylinder tourer or something like We have the 3cylinder platform for the products. This is our top range and completed. “

“We will start of the F3 in September and full production at the end of We will produce the first units this year and by the first customers will their bikes more or all over the world. This is news because we managed to a bike that was planned for the quarter of 2012 and we did that. the bike is a great bike and we a 10hp range more the actual leader of the market.

horsepower and we have 10 more is a lot for a bike like this. We set the in the 600s with this we’re probably a bit back in of electronics on the 4cylinders, but in this we’re much in front of all the I rode the bike myself, I was one of the few and the bike is fantastic. And then is the Brutale 675 that we will at the Milan show in November.”

TS It all now with the midrange?

GC “Yes the midrange will enable us to sales easy, in minimum sales. One thing I didn’t say is the F3 will be priced below 12K so it will be in direct competition the Triumph Daytona 675 or even the Japanese.”

TS And where lays the 675 in price?

GC “We will be at 11.9K with the F3 and 8.8-8.9K Euro for the B3. So competition with the Triumph R and 796, this is our target. it’s not the Gladius or Hornet, but this brand you can’t go that low. It’s a stretch and the price range in 7-8 will be from 8K-23K

TS The F3, Brutale 675 we know about. about other triple

GC “The 675 is a very good and as a platform we can work on different At the moment we are focusing on the F3 which is the industrialisation for production and also the B3 is in industrialisation now. We are also on a third bike which is a, I know how should I call it; say it’s a MV Agusta interpretation of could be a motard.”

TS So CRC in San Marino something motardy we might see in

GC “If we work well, there’s a chance we see it maybe at Eicma So yes CRC is working very hard we have 40 people down and they’re managed by our President is head of RD now and of design.”

TS This is Castiglioni, your father?

GC “My father yes, and they are working really well and I they proved it with the

TS The F3 is Adrian Morton’s design?

GC is a great designer and worked on the F3 my fathers directions and he interpreted the he got all the points for this bike. difficult because some criticise us and say you always do the same no? It’s much easier to a brand new bike and say to the designer; do crazy than to step by make your bike without offending the old bike, the old and without loosing your

“I think that the most thing that the readers get from this interview is take a bike, any bike you there are a few that are obvious no? And its brand and tell me which it is. 90% of the time you don’t know. an MV Agusta you know, you say this is an MV.

competitors have strong and it’s very bad to loose identity. We keep working on like Porsche does, not revolution.”

“Porsche do many right. The company was almost in 1998 and then they the most profitable company in the

TS Are you open to other big companies for or partnerships, Porsche or big German car

GC “No not really because I think if you to serve this company I mean we’ve experienced it now Harley-Davidson. I had to experience it.

Small like MV Agusta should family owned. If you go big corporation the and structure goes heavy.”

I’m not saying they did badly for company; they did incredibly for this company. But on the financial and other sides everything slower and a bit more bureaucratic. So to your question I think could be an interest for VW or for groups want this, BMW has bikes the haven’t, so it could be interesting but should manage it a bit differently a big company.”

TS Ducati/AMG – Strategic sponsorship, glamorous brands

“This could be something I don’t really understand the between Ducati and AMG Mercedes but I’m there is one.”

TS Casti the elephant logo also for What’s the thinking behind it?

GC my big brother that runs it Casti group is part of the that also started the business. The family business is managed by my uncle and all the products use the Cagiva logo.

This was my original logo for his mechanical That’s the story of the logo.”

TS How has it for you to grow up with the MV Agusta as its 20 years since Cagiva bought MV Agusta?

GC “I grew up in the world since I was born The Cagiva Company was established in and I was born two years later so I am as old as the brand. And then we purchased my father did a great job with Bordi to re launch that when it was finished with like the Monster and 916 then when we re-launched that as well.”

“I’ll tell you a I have the first F4, I have a of bikes and I have the first F4 but not the one to the public. The development bike.

It was a 916 a four cylinder engine a Cagiva logo. It should been a new Cagiva because at the time was racing in the GP 500’s. It have been a new Cagiva special bike, a sport

Then we sold Ducati and a few back MV Agusta was acquired but was in the The importance about the logo as I earlier when my father and Tamburini developed the first F4 we had two the Cagiva logo or the MV Agusta and it was something different already.

And so it was in MV Agusta started this and to tell you the truth it was a bit strange I am young and I didn’t know MV well although of course I something because Giacoma is a friend of ours and I knew he won a lot with MV Agusta and Agusta helicopters so I knew this the company and that we’d this brand. But I wasn’t that this brand be successful because I didn’t as much about the history as the in their 50’s.

And it’s how this brand has been re The first target customers in their 50’s the generation loved the MV Agusta racing MV Agusta was a myth. Now our core is in the 30’s and with the 600 it will be 20 and even 18.

And it’s very to launch a brand. There are brands in the world and many are historical even than MV and didn’t achieve success. not easy, a brand can’t go a product and a product can’t go a brand. It was a good MV Agusta for me.”

TS Your family is known for re launching, now maybe

GC “Cagiva is a sleeping brand. If you me what I wanted to do with I would say I would re-launch the Cagiva Elefant 1200 cylinder good price quality. It’s an option but at the we can’t, we are small and if we do many at a time we end up in problems. It’s to have a successful product at the time even if it’s at a point. Cagiva we will

I think MV Agusta have a chance at being successful Cagiva so first we do this. this project is finished in years then we can think it.”


GC “I’m a little bit against racing, not against it but not supporting of racing there is no correlation between and sales. Why I say that, Valentino won many championships with and R1 and R6 sales went down as the went down. There’s no It is a great thing that are bringing brand awareness and to the group and also a lot of development and carried out on the racing bike and implemented on the normal bike.”

I must say that both my and Massimo Bordi are really about racing. They convinced me that we have to at superbike racing and we are looking at It would be a project of minimum two I think MV Agusta can do World with the right partner of

“Prototype racing isn’t for us, a big show but we can’t afford it’s not for a small company. nobody can. Superbike is right for us. I don’t want to the Porsche comparison all the time, but does not race. Well in GT and kind of championship, but not in F1.

Ferrari spends a lot of money in F1 and are a world famous brand but don’t sell 100.000 They still sell units. And I think Superbike is for MV.

It takes time to be there, difficult the brand wants so We don’t go racing to finish 5 th or 10 th place, we go to win.”

TS How do you explain the BMW S RR success then? Do you think the gives their solutions credibility?

GC “No I think if BMW hadn’t they would have the same amount of units. sell units because the is a good bike. That’s it.

BMW that bike made a forward in the electronics and in the world of in the terms of electronics and the engine is a good engine.

I think is a great support for production. But I the F4 RR is a ‘real’ bike still. The is really important if you want to go fast.

But if you want to have the rider should be there, The F3 will have all that.”

MV Agusta F4 1000 R Scuderia Ferrari

TS talk about numbers? The most powerful motorcycle better than others. had some trouble with numbers initially with the ZX-10R. How are the MV numbers?

Are you worried like this could to MV Agusta or are all the bikes to specification?

GC “No we tested the first ten F4 RR’s and ranged between 197 and 202 horsepower is less than a 5% difference. Not bike will be 201 horsepower but this is normal. I bought an with 420hp and then I on the test bench and it showed 380hp which is a 40 horsepower

I wanted to call Audi and but what? We tested all the bikes and all between 197-198-201-202hp.”

“It has minimum 13 more than the standard F4. you take an engine from the line there’s always one performs more or less the other. The least performing one was and the best one was 202 point something. It is 15 horsepower more than the F4, the bike is very fast.”

numbers and performance are important MV Agusta is something different and always be on top of the others. In every we make we have to be the most have one horsepower more and the specification. This is our job but I don’t that’s all important and essential, the and design is important when you an MV Agusta. Yes it has the power and performance but of all you have an MV Agusta which is from the rest.

So our politics are for and performance but also satisfying the to have something that’s in time. This is different the rest. You’re buying a bike and after one year old. The design is old everything is

We did a dealer panel with the dealers. And my suggestion was; don’t we, ok the F4 is new and it was a provocation from my but I said; why don’t we do the F4 similar to the F3, in the back no under seat but below the fairing like on the I was happy with the answer; “No is the F4.” In 20years time it be more modern but it will be this.

With the four exhausts the seat, this is what we to focus on and never go away we will get people bored. We do our design and our strategies like I don’t believe in futuristic they can last a while and it’s gone. “

“Classic never goes out of fashion.” I “Exactly” Castiglioni responded

TS you take over more and of the responsibilities at MV Agusta?

GC “I follow the company, I am also into RD and and all of that, but we split the work the three of us (Castiglioni SR, JR and Bordi). For me more important that the does well. For the design CRC and my father and we manage to work well together. There’s no one man

TS How do you tell the designers how you want the to be?

GC “This is entirely my father’s and we don’t see the bike until completed. We saw the F3 only when it was and then we said maybe we can this or that before but that’s it. My father is very of his work and even the Brutale we saw it last month for the first and we saw the development but the real bike last month for the first At the moment I don’t think he made an ugly bike, so. “

TS in North America; this is a problem for small European What’s your take on the situation for MV Agusta?

GC “No dealers can only on MV Agusta now with three models. Maybe the 920, the RR, F3 and Brutale 675 it could get This is always a problem, we did just this last in Australia, and we are doing very

We entered Canada, we’re well. We are entering Brazil, and we be the first Italian supersport to enter Brazil and produce in We have orders that can Brazil the second market Italy for MV.

We tripled sales in we started from 100 bikes to 200 and in the three years we did 200 to 400 to 600. the US we are just reorganising the market and our there. In the US we have always money because of the exchange You make money in the US only if you there or sell a lot of bikes.”

TS about very expensive

GC “I don’t think the American accepts the super luxury anymore, nowhere in the world in Even very rich don’t buy as much anymore. big has changed.

Of course we sell a here at 18,000€ we have to for 18,000$ in the US. If the exchange rate is we don’t touch a 60%margin. we restructured the subsidiary in the US but first I to say that we closed the subsidiaries in and Germany and we went the direct route like in Italy and which are the two best performing

So from a month ago we are direct in the countries in Europe; Germany, Italy and even Switzerland is a small market but we still a lot in Switzerland. In the US we cannot go direct; too difficult to go direct sales our dealers. We kept our subsidiary, but we it heavily.

So we appointed a new director for the subsidiary, Rob that used to work for so he was working with me 5-6 years Rob is the new head of the subsidiary. I want to the number of dealers; we have dealers in the US. We have 100 in Italy is too many; we need to go down to 60 and up to 50 in the US. though in the central part of the US is nothing but on the east and west we need to increase the dealerships.

And we and we are keeping a different philosophy in the US We are not pushing bikes into the for dealers to sell. We keep the tight because there is no in selling so many bikes in a where you don’t make any I prefer not to sell.

But we will and we will increase the dealerships and we’re full package and complete then we will sales. I think the F3 675’s be profitable in the US but the Brutale 675 could be a bit low for that market, we will to wait and see the exchange rates.”

TS finish with this, in a few how would you explain your hopes for MV Agusta. How big do you want the to become?

GC “Stay small, the should stay small. The used to produce around units then the markets down for everybody, now at 4.500 this year. I think we can sales with the three and the first two three cylinder And then with the developments on the and new models with the threes we can 10-12K units. With units and this structure we make a lot of money and that’s

And to reach 12K units this is with these models. well if the market stagnates, our plan might look in if the market doesn’t grow we will not sell more cylinders but this is not true we will with the three also bring up the four Because we will get new clients the MV family.

So I think 12K is a good and then if we sell 20K units I’m happy but I want to keep the on these numbers and then see if we can make better. But for sure we are not Ducati or Triumph or anybody We do our job and satisfy our clients.”

TS Will be your work for life?

GC “I love to but you never know happens in life. I’d like to with MV Agusta and work for the at least for the next three years and then we’ll “

I end the interview here as we’ve had a hour talking and one of the new MV Agusta are waiting for me outside.

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