Case Study

The Castiglioni family and MV Agusta – motorcycle art

24 pages
August 2012
Reference: IMD-3-2298

December 2011, Varese, Italy. MV Agusta, the legendary Italian racing motorcycle brand, had just launched its latest attempt to regain the fame it had enjoyed in the 1970s. In August 2010 Claudio Castiglioni, the famous motorcycle aficionado and serial entrepreneur, had acquired MV Agusta for the third time in 20 years. Claudio was an icon in the motorcycle world, having revived illustrious brands such as Ducati, Cagiva, Husqvarna and Moto Morini. Together with his son Giovanni and Massimo Bordi, the famous engineer behind the Ducati success stories of the 1990s, Claudio hoped that third time would be a charm. Unfortunately, Claudio did not get to see the fruits of MV Agusta’s revival: He passed away on 17 August 2011 at the age of 64, leaving some big shoes for his son Giovanni to fill. Giovanni had been working in the company since 2002, as head of marketing and sales first then stepping in as CEO in 2010. He shared his father’s vision and now it was up to him to turn it into reality. The first results after the re-acquisition looked promising but the motorcycle market had been shrinking dramatically over the past 10 years. The economic and financial crisis had hit Italy particularly hard during the last three years. What would it take to complete the turnaround successfully and rapidly gain momentum in this competitive market? How could he reignite the flame under this beacon of motorcycle racing prowess? How should the MV Agusta brand be positioned now? Should it put more emphasis on the brand’s lifestyle elements, extending its offering of accessories for both bikes and riders? How large could the company become without compromising the brand’s elements of exclusivity?

Learning Objective

Rebuilding an iconic brand, positioning a luxury product, technology innovation and development, financing growth, entrepreneurship, corporate venturing, succession management, family business governance.

Brand Building, Succession, Turnaround, Buyout, Luxury Brand, Growth Strategy, Positioning, Distribution, Growth Financing, Corporate Venturing, Motorcycle
Field Research
© 2012
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
Case clearing houses

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

2012 EFMD AWARD RUNNER-UP (Entrepreneurship)
Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics