After surprising us with the silent takeover of the iconic British motorcycle marque - BSA, Mahindra and Mahindra today revealed the reason behind it and its future plans in the two-wheeler market. The home-grown automaker today announced that it has shifted the focus of its two-wheeler business towards premium niche market and will enter newer and previously untouched territories with its newly acquired brands - BSA and JAWA.
Classic Legend Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra acquired 100% of the share capital of BSA Company Limited. This has enabled Mahindra to acquire all of the BSA licensing for marketing and merchandising products under the BSA nameplate globally. This has opened a world of opportunity for re-launching and re-establishing the classic British motorcycle marque as a 'new' global motorcycle brand.
The air was cleared that the BSA brand will not be either made in India or will be launched in India and the company will think about doing so only later. The BSA bikes will have design teams outside India, however, there will be some input taken from the R&D team here in Pune. The BSA bikes will mainly be sold in the US, Italy and the UK.
The good news for India is that the JAWA brand of products will be made in India at Mahindra's Pithampur plant and work for this is already underway. We will see the first product come out of this plant within the next two years, so, yes Mahindra might be looking at the 2018 Auto Expo as a deadline to showcase its first Jawa product, while the launch will happen later. Mind you, there will be no Mahindra badging on any of the bikes and the bikes will carry on their heritage. Jawa will boast of separate dealerships India considering the lifestyle element the brand carries with it. Do not expect the revival of any of the bikes, though the styling of these bikes will be Neo-retro and will carry their own charm.
In addition to that, Mahindra did mention that the company is working on some new variants and iterations of the Mojo which will be introduced soon and this will make the Mojo more accessible as well. While we already have a tourer, soon we'll see variants like a cruiser and supersport make its way into the market. While Mahindra Two Wheelers is focusing on the Mojo, it has no plans to work on any new products for the Indian market yet. The Gusto and the Centuro have been raking in decent sales numbers and both these will continue to be sold in India and exported to the African and Asian markets.
Announcing the company's new plan of action, Pawan Goenka said, "We are very excited about the new journey that we are embarking upon in the two wheeler space. Our focus on the premium, niche segment through Classic Legends will bring alive some iconic brands like BSA and JAWA, not just in the form of products but as an entire lifestyle."
Finally, of course, there's Peugeot and Mahindra has 51 per cent stake in this company. Mahindra will not be bringing any of the scooters to the Indian market anytime soon, though it will start CKD operations in Vietnam and there will be a significant investment in the company to bring out a new product portfolio and refreshes to the current line-up.
Mahindra is realigning its structure when it comes to the two-wheeler business and this is seen by the fact that there are three distinct companies it's been divided into - Peugeot Motorcycles, Mahindra Two Wheelers Limited and Classic Legends Private Limited and this is to help the company gain ground in the niche two wheeler markets. What remains to be seen though is how this strategy works for Mahindra and the next few years will be crucial for the company as its plans unfold.