CCM builds steam, moves factory

CCM Motorcycles, one of the UK’s two motorcycle manufacturers, is moving its operation from Blackburn, Lancashire, to St. Helens, Merseyside, after securing an investment of nearly $6.33 million and a new supply deal with Suzuki Motor Corp.
CCM specialized in competition machines until 1998, when it began to build a range of trail and supermoto bikes based on its competition-only models. Although established for 32 years, the firm produced only 250 bikes in 1999 and 2,000 in 2002. Still, a spokesman says there are plans to build 5,000 bikes a year by 2005, and says the firm expects to reach an annual turnover of roughly $31.65 million while adding 50 new jobs in the same time frame.
The funding package comprises investments of $2.29 million from Merseyside Special Investment Fund, which helps support local businesses; nearly $2.93 million from Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity; $387,600 from the North West Development Agency; and a further investment from CCM directors.
CCM Motorcycles was founded by Alan Clews in 1971. While Clews is still the firm’s production development director, CCM is now led by Richard Robson and Peter Swift, who took over in July 1998 after selling Fermec Holdings Limited (formerly Massey Ferguson Construction Equipment) and taking CCM public. Clews remains a shareholder, as does Carl Fogarty’s wife, Michaela, who is actively involved in the company’s promotional and marketing activities.
CCM says it is increasing its dealer base, and hopes to have 50 dealers in the UK by spring 2003. Restricted to the UK market until 2000, when European homologation (legal approval) was achieved, the firm most recently launched its fully road-legal motorcycles into continental Europe, and is extending its product range via distribution and dealer development to Australia.

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