Legendary motorcycle maker Norton is relocating to Solihull

A legendary motorcycle maker which was based in the Midlands at the dawn of the industry is being revived and relocating to Solihull.

More than 50 jobs have already been created as part of the Norton Motorcycle Co’s move and it is thought hundreds of jobs could ultimately be created.

The new Solihull operation will see the resumption of motorcycle production for the firm, combining traditional hand-crafted techniques with modern day machinery.

The company is relocating from Castle Donington in the East Midlands to Solar Park in Solihull.

The new facility in Highlands Road, Shirley, is currently being fitted out and Norton says it will be the company’s most advanced operation in its 122-year history.

Norton Motorcycles was founded in 1898 in Birmingham as a manufacturer of fittings and parts to the two-wheel trade.



Norton Motorcycles is relocating to a new factory and headquarters in Solihull

Norton Motorcycles went on to become one of the most iconic British motorcycle brands, manufacturing famous models such as the 650SS, Atlas, Commando, Dominator, Manx, Navigator and many more.

It gained a reputation as an innovator in motorcycle technology, with features combining lightness and strength in motorcycle racing.

Norton Motorcycles has a rich history in motorsport and the brand name is synonymous with the famous Isle of Man TT.

The Solihull production site will open following a multi-million pound investment by Norton’s Indian parent company, TVS Motor Company, which acquired the Norton Motorcycle Company Ltd in April 2020.

The motorcycle maker had been based in Castle Donington for more than a decade before going into administration last year.

The new Solihull premises will be the central hub for all of Norton operations, providing a permanent base for all staff.

The new headquarters will be home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support teams – as well as the skilled production team that is resuming the manufacture of motorcycles.

Some of the specialist tooling and equipment previously used by Norton has been carried over to the new site in Solihull, but the site is also benefiting from substantial new investment.

The New Norton Motorcycle Co facility will see skilled technicians utulising bespoke bike building techniques along with the latest manufacturing equipment.

Norton will resume production of the Commando Classic model at the Solihull site, building a limited quality to honour customers who had ordered and paid a deposit on these bikes.



Norton Motorcycles is relocating to a new factory and headquarters in Solihull

Production of the V4SS will commence soon and the full opening of the facility is expected before the end of March this year.

Sudarshan Venu, joint managing director of TVS Motors, said: “The opening of the new headquarters represents a significant step forward for Norton Motorcycles.

“The opening of this state-of-the-art facility will create the foundations for a sustainable long-term future of Norton. The new bikes will meet the world class standards our customers expect.

“2020 has been a tough year for the world but we are excited to be moving into our new home and we are delighted this has been created by the Norton and TVS teams in just nine months.

“This new facility underpinned by strong quality processes will produce bikes truly worthy of the illustrious Norton brand and take it into the future.

“We are setting out to create a future for the company, our employees, our customers and our partners that lives up to the highest expectations and enable Norton to once again become the real force its history deserves.”

The Norton relocation was welcomed by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who said: “The arrival of Norton’s global headquarters to Solihull is a real vote of confidence in our region as we look to recover from the pandemic.

“It speaks volumes to the strides the West Midlands has taken forward in recent years that Norton has chosen to come home after more than a decade based outside the region.

“This investment not only re-establishes our historic partnership with Norton, but will set a world-class benchmark for exceptional motorcycle manufacturing at the heart of our region, creating hundreds of jobs in the process at what is an incredibly challenging time economically.

“This investment also represents the start of an important partnership between the West Midlands and TVS Motors.”



West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

Mr Street added: “With Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover also based in the region, the West Midlands has a good relationship with India that we are constantly looking to improve through the West Midlands India Partnership.

“This investment by Norton exemplifies what exactly we are trying to achieve with the partnership, and I am delighted to welcome the company back home.”

To sign up for our newsletter, delivered free to your inbox, click here.