We now have the critical mass to take on any challenge in motorcycles and personal mobility
Dr Robert Hentschel - MD of Ricardo Deutschland
When I provided the welcoming address to the inaugural Ricardo Motorcycle conference in Milan in November 2014, just days following the announcement of the formation of our business dedicated to motorcycles and personal mobility, I was able to set out how we were able to address any challenge of this sector, anywhere in the world.
Ricardo had just completed the acquisition of UK motorcycle chassis, vehicle integration and prototype build specialist Vepro. This acquisition brought significant synergies with our existing motorcycle engineering team, not least in the highly complementary market profile brought in the US cruiser motorcycle market and in India, and its perfect fit with the extensive and long-standing in-house Ricardo experience with leading German and Asian brands.
But there was one aspect of the vision for Ricardo Motorcycle that remained what might be termed ‘unfinished business’. Alongside the then new acquisition and our long-established engineering team, a third equally complementary element was represented by Exnovo of Italy: a world-leading name in the area of vehicle design, styling and development, not just for conventional motorcycle types, but also for all categories of urban mobility and personal transportation vehicles.
Ricardo and Exnovo had entered a Memorandum of Understanding governing co-operation and collaboration earlier in 2014. This relationship has been so successful that in the summer of 2016, we were able to announce that company has now been fully acquired and is now very firmly a part of the Ricardo Motorcycle family.
Living and breathing the product
With these three parts of the Ricardo Motorcycle business firmly in place, our customers are now able to draw upon a fully integrated service offering across all aspects of personal mobility. More importantly, though, our customers are able to deal directly with engineers who are passionate about motorcycles and motorcycle engineering. All of the leading figures in the combined business are well known across the industry, from Milwaukee, Munich and Chongqing to Taipei and all places between.
places between. Ricardo’s own motorcycle engineering customers, who have worked with us for almost three decades, will know our head of sales Paul Etheridge; Neil Wright, with his experience at Triumph Motorcycles and then building up the impressive Vepro business, is another highly experienced and trusted expert who will be known to many within the motorcycle industry around the world.
Finally, Massimo Lotti and Massimo Cipriani – the two founding partners of Exnovo – will be familiar to many customers for their expertise in the design of exceptional urban mobility solutions, including small three-and four-wheeled vehicles as well as motorcycles.
These are engineers of exceptional talent, but, crucially in my view, they are enthusiasts for the product too. On the daily commute or at the weekend, you are as likely as not to see them putting their cherished collections of motorcycles – from classics to the latest performance models – through their paces.
I believe that the combined strengths and experience of the Ricardo Motorcycle team and its proven engineering leadership goes way beyond the capabilities offered by any other consultancy or in-house engineering team anywhere in the world.
This view point featured in RQ Q3 2016 - click here to download the full publication.