A new partnership between Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta and German car maker Daimler AG will lead to a sharing of technologies and will also help MV Agusta expand into new markets.
The two companies announced on Friday that Daimler’s sports-car and performance brand Mercedes-AMG will acquire a 25% interest in the Italian company, which has been making motorcycles since 1945. This is part of a long-term partnership which will include collaboration on marketing and sales.
As part of the agreement, Mercedes-AMG will also appoint one member of MV Agusta’s board. Financial details of the German company’s investment were not disclosed.
Giovanni Castiglioni, president and chief executive of MV Agusta, welcomed the agreement and said he believes the two brands are a perfect match as they both have a focus on “design, high performance and excellence.”
According to Tobias Moers, chief executive of Mercedes-AMG, this partnership provides the company with “an entry into a world of additional high-performance enthusiasts.”
The deal is the latest sign that motorcycle and car technologies are converging, driven by the need to lower emissions and improve safety, according to Reuters.
The news agency said that buying a stake in MV Agusta gives Mercedes-AMG access to high-performance, lightweight technology, including three-cylinder engines developed for Italian superbikes.
While motorcycle engines are not likely to be used in Mercedes passenger cars in the near future, carmakers are interested in lightweight construction technology and compact engines which could one day be used alongside electric engines in hybrid vehicles.
At the same time, motorcycle manufacturers can benefit from safety technology that was originally developed for cars. Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) will become compulsory for new motorbikes above 125cc in the European Union from 2016.