British manufacturer Morgan caused a major stir at the Geneva motor show, when it was revealed that an Italian venture capitalist firm had taken a controlling stake in the company – providing it with a welcome cash infusion.
The amount invested by Investindustrial, which previously took a major stake in Aston Martin, has not been disclosed. However, Morgan says it is a “significant capital investment” that will allow the 110-year-old car firm to introduce new models and potentially double its sales.
Autocar spoke to Morgan chairman Dominic Riley at Geneva, where the company also launched the new Plus Six, about the deal.
Why has this deal happened?
“Look at other businesses with significant capital investment. The long-term benefits of new capital allow us to build our dealer network and invest in new technology. The industry is becoming increasingly technological, with safety and other technology – our R&D can benefit from this investment of capital. We’ll never be large scale but we can develop.”
What interested Investindustrial in Morgan?
“When they came to Malvern Link, they were extremely impressed by the factory, history and craft skills, and they don’t want to change that. But they do want to invest. There are areas we can invest in but retain who we are. We can invest in people. We’ve got plans for a new visitor centre, too. The factory is less than half of the 10 acres we have so there is room to grow. There’s a big opportunity with the museum and other areas, and the council is very supportive. They say we’re the jewel in the crown of Malvern.”
Will they shake things up with management?