Norton Motorcycles, one of the oldest British motorcycle manufacturers, has gone into administration in the UK. Going into administration is similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This development now puts 100 jobs in jeopardy.
While Norton reported sales of US$8.7M in 2019, its pre-tax profits were only US$43,860. In addition, it owes the UK government some £300,000 in unpaid taxes.
UK accounting firm, BDO (not related to the Philippine bank), has been appointed as the administrator and will reorganize and administer the affairs of the business, focusing on paying off existing debts to avoid liquidation and completely dissolving the business. The firm is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that customers, staff and suppliers are supported through this stage.
Norton Motorcycles was founded in Birmingham, England in 1902 and is often associated with motorcycle races like the Isle of Man TT. Norton motorcycles were used by the UK police in the 1980s. Its bikes have also featured in films like James Bond: Spectre and the Che Guevara memoir, The Motorcycle Diaries.
Norton first met financial difficulties in 2008, but was rescued by entrepreneur and property developer, Stuart Garner who revived the business. He moved production to Donington Castle, where it is headquartered now. Garner claimed that Norton was performing well last year with plans to open a new factory. Garner also owns Priest House Hotel and Donington Hall Estates, both of which are also under administration now.
In the Philippines, Norton Motorcycles are sold by Ropali Classics. We have yet to receive word if this announcement will affect local sales.