Friday, June 03, 2016

MATCHLESS RASING FUNDS FOR MOTORCYCLE PRODUCTION

The 'Mail on Sunday' gives details of the Matchless bond offer, to raise cash for making motorcycles...
The Matchless name, currently embroidered on a line of moto-inspired clothing, was purchased by the Malenotti family of Italy, back in 2012.  They'd previously purchased the Belstaff brand, and found considerable success selling updated moto-ish gear, after hiring supermodel Kate Moss for ads, and product-placing their gear in movies and TV shows.  Rapid expansion of Belstaff retail shops around Europe meant borrowing lots of money from Italian banks, and when those banks got nervous and made 'the call' for their cash back, the Malenottis were forced to sell Belstaff.  But they pulled a rabbit out of a hat, as the brand was sold for nearly 100M euros more than they owed the banks, and the Malenottis walked away smelling like a rose.
The Matchless 'Model X Reloaded' prototype
With Matchless, they've been running the same playbook, immediately hiring the evergreen Kate Moss for the next round of Matchless logo gear.  The Malenottis went a step further with Matchless, though, and have stated their intention to begin limited production of Matchless branded motorcycles, and have shown the prototype Model X Reloaded, as shown here.  Last Sunday's 'Mail on Sunday' newspaper noted the Original Matchless Motorcycle Company will offer a bond to investors through the online finance platform Karadoo, with the promise of a 6% annual interest rate for 5 years - considerably more than any bank offers at the moment.  The £5M they intend to raise will fund the launch of 'two superbike models', neither of which is Kate Moss.  But surely she'll be in the picture; she's their lucky charm.  Whether the Model X Reloaded will be produced in the same configuration as the prototype shown is unclear, and I'll refrain from passing judgement on the design, except to say,
The Model X Reloaded...
Michele Malenotti designed the Model X Reloaded, and is quoted saying, "We want to build the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles...I spoke with the Rolls-Royce CEO and he told me 'congratulations, you have found a place in the market where nobody is selling right now."   I don't expect the Rolls CEO to know his bikes (although their parent company BMW happens to produce motorcycles), but that's not an accurate statement. Several boutique motorcycle firms have price points far beyond typical production models, including the revamped Brough Superior SS100, and the Ecosse Moto Works Founder's Edition Titanium XX, which currently holds the #1 spot for most expensive new motorcycle at $300,000.  Brough Superior's tagline has been 'The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles' since 1921, so the Matchless claim is audacious...and Brough is already delivering new bikes.  In fact, I'll be test riding one next week!  Stay tuned...


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7 comments:

GuitarSlinger said...

Well if recent history tells us anything [ Ecosse's head on the chopping block ( e.g. bankruptcy ) , B-S's future all but stalled financially . Norton barely making it out of the starting gate etc etc ] it looks like the M/C world will be having another inevitable failure on its hands with this Matchless revival . Which kind of begs the question ... in this current very unstable and on the verge of recession at best , depression at worst Potemkin Village with words economies are in ... what kind of businessman ... never mind investor gets involved with these over priced under financed revivals and upmarket projects that obviously beyond a very few enthusiasts ... nobody wants

Don't get me wrong . I love the concepts . Its the viable which concerns me .

Purity Vendetta said...

I make no apologies for airing the opinion that this is a motorcycle that the world simply doesn't need. It looks very much like another of the form over function creations beloved of the 'hipster' crowd who are currently dabbling in the fashion side of motorcycling. Whilst wishing the brand no ill I can't imagine this being any more than a quickly forgotten financial faux pas.

thefrenchowl said...

April's long gone, we're now in June...

Let's get this right, they got 1000 000 000 euros in the bank but need 5 000 000 to launch this atrocity?

Patrick

Nortley said...

Looks like someone with a very eclectic parts pile stuffed a Super Vee into a BMW Cruiser chassis, then decorated it with Excelsior Henderson tin, emphasizing the aesthetics of that trio.

Ferdinand Edwards said...

This dog's breakfast is an acquired taste. The market is well, the market and if an iconic brand comes up for sale, the deepest pockets usually win out but that doesn't necessarily guarantee success. The Belstaff brand was turned into a big bucks celebrity endorsed label, loved by fashionistas though the quality was never the same but hey, who cares if Kate Moss is wearing it? Every generation laughs at the old fashions but follows religiously the new. This machine may well buck that trend.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.

1. Is "Matchless", really "Iconic" enough outside of GB to be worth resurrecting? My feeling is no. In Japan, the US, etc, very few modern riders would know what "Matchless" would stand for in terms of a brand, market position or as a ride. Too much time has passed, for a brand that never really had market dominance, for it to have much meaning. Incidentally, "Iconic" must be the most overrused term since "Artisinal"....but I'm using it anyway.

2. If they are going to go in a new direction with the product, and the brand, there is really no need to slap "Matchless" on the tank. Just create something new and make it mean what you want.

3.As to the machine itself, it sports more of a custom chopper look than that of a production machine. It's clear that they want to create something that people would aspire to own. However, I'm not sure this is it.

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