MV Agusta design bikes for Loncin
Loncin and its global partners (the shape of things to come for the Chinese motorcycle industry).
Written by David McMullan firstname.lastname@example.org
Hot on the heels of Qianjiang’s partnership with Harley Davidson comes news of a cooperation between Loncin and MV Agusta
Last year I was contacted by a representative of Italian marque MV Agusta and questioned on the Chinese motorcycle industry and the possibility of different types of cooperation and partnership. After a lengthy chat I put the phone down and thought no more about it so I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they had entered into a partnership with Chongqing giant Loncin. Loncin are one of the bigger and more respected of the Chinese motorcycle manufactures and have enjoyed a long term partnership with BMW for whom they produce 350, 650 and 850cc engines as well as the whole of the maxi scooter.
Loncin and BMW
Loncin signed a production partnership agreement with BMW Motorrad in 2005 which saw the start of their partnership and also saw the G650GS motorcycle engine start production in its facilities in Chongqing. Over 60,000 of these engines have now been produced and shipped to BMW as a result of this collaboration. BMW have also signed off on Loncin using the G650GS engine in one of their own models, the LX650 Roadster (also known as the CR9), which is currently only sold within China due to licensing restrictions in their agreement with BMW.
BMW have a team of engineers that oversee the production of their engines at the Loncin plant and have very tight control over the most important aspects of the production process. Despite the strict controls, there’s plenty of opportunity for Loncin’s staff to learn from the BMW team; “We learn something, we put their advantages in our products and make our products more and more competitive” said Mr. Zhou, Export Marketing Manager for Loncin during an interview in November 2014. And the partnership seems to be paying off for both parties.
Loncin are not, in fact, MV Agusta’s first Chinese partner as they had earlier teamed up with Lifan in what was an unsuccessful attempt to promote the MV through Lifan’s dealerships (I once wrote an entire article on the lacklustre attempt by Lifan to market the bikes, it really was a half-hearted affair) but the relationship was short-lived and fruitless.
Loncin and MV Agusta
The partnership between Loncin and MV Agusta will involve the former producing motorcycles designed my MV. There will be 4 new models in this family of bikes with engine displacements ranging from 350cc to 500cc designed to grab a segment of the smaller motorcycle market. These new models will be sold at MV Agusta dealerships throughout Asia by the end of 2021, as part of the Italian firm’s development plan. As part of the overall deal MV Agusta will help Loncin expand their range to include larger capacity models. MV will develop a brand new range of 800cc models for Loncin’s premium motorcycle brand, VOGE. Like all the MV Agusta motorcycles, this new range that will comprise four different models will come with unique performance, sound and vehicle dynamics, says the company although it’s not clear whether the smaller capacity MVs or larger capacity VOGE models will be available outside Asia.
MV Agusta’s CEO Timur Sardarov commented ““This strategic alliance is an important step to consolidate our vision for the future of MV Agusta. Our target is to reaffirm our leadership in the production of upper premium motorcycles, while also enlarging our customer base by offering a broader range of products without compromising our distinctive design and performance. We are looking forward to grow with the right partners and the right products, making sure that our clients enjoy the larger choice of models, all of which share the same DNA and MV Agusta pedigree.”
Yong Gao, President of Loncin stated "The conclusion of the strategic agreement is conducive to Loncin’s and MV Agusta's joint response to the changes in global market demand and to the coordinated development of both sides. Loncin will use advanced manufacturing resources and Chinese market knowledge to help MV Agusta expand its product line and enhance product competitiveness. MV Agusta’s technology and advanced design experience of high-performance motorcycles will support Loncin’s "VOGE" brand in becoming the market leader of premium motorcycles in China. I am looking forward to our strategic cooperation based on the principles of mutual benefit and success."
Loncin have long been regarded as one of the more progressive motorcycle manufacturers in China and were the first Chinese motorcycle company to run bikes in top level completion when they entered a racing motorcycle in the MotoGP 125 category for the 2008-2009 season although somewhat blotted their copybook in 2012, when they ran into trouble with the US Environmental Protection Agency after they imported over 7000 vehicles that violated the Clean Air Act, by submitting false paperwork.