EVs and twin cylinder bikes under consideration for India.
Buoyed by fresh fund infusion plans of Rs 875 crore, Classic Legends, Mahindra’s premium two-wheeler division, is planning to expand its model range and dealership footprint, and is also looking at introducing the classic motorcycle brand from the UK, BSA, to have a meaningful play in the growing premium motorcycle market.
While the timelines are still being finalised for the BSA brand’s India market launch, our sister publication Autocar Professional learns that the brand should hit the Indian roads within the next 12-18 months’ time. The company is alternatively studying bringing in a twin-cylinder motorcycle, apart from reinforcing its core of 350-500 cc segment.
- India part of BSA’s Australasia expansion plans
- BSA EV to be built at Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh plant
- During 2024, Classic Legend to bring new versions of Yezdi
BSA, which has already been launched in key developed markets of Europe, will be rolled out in Australasia and US in 2024 as part of the brand’s global expansion. The company will be launching the brand in the markets of Japan, Australia and New Zealand and India also figures in this revamped road map. The electric motorcycle will be manufactured at the company’s plant in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh.
Speaking on the sidelines of the new Jawa 350 roll out in Mumbai on Wednesday, Ashish Joshi, CEO of Classic Legends told Autocar Professional the company’s aspiration is to be the number 2 brand in India in the growing midsize motorcycle segment.
Royal Enfield is the largest midsize motorcycle maker in the world with close to 8.5 lakh units sales globally. Meanwhile, Classic Legends is currently averaging about 4,000 to 5,000 bikes per month. With a renewed focus on the product launches, network expansion and widening global footprint, Joshi sees a potential of multifold increase in volumes. He, however, refrained from sharing targets or timelines. Mahindra had announced last month that it plans to invest Rs 875 crore over the next 2-3 years to fund its future growth. The funding for the same will be done through internal accruals by and funds raised from external investors.
Classic Legends future in India
On the potential plans of launching BSA in India, Joshi said, “We are currently looking at demand fulfilment for BSA across 12-13 European countries and the US is going to take a lot, not only in terms of capacity but in terms of energy as well. Besides, if we can bring it to India as well, because it is going to come into Japan, Australia, New Zealand in any case, so why miss India.”
During the year, the company is planning to bring in new versions of Yezdi and expand the dealership footprint in the country from 423 to 500 outlets to bring in incremental sales. If BSA is launched in India, the EV bike from Classic Legends may launch around the same time as the market leader Royal Enfield’s entry into the EV spacewhich is scheduled for H1 2025.
BSA brand history
BSA, which stands for Birmingham Small Arms, was originally founded in 1861 to manufacture guns at Small Heath, a setting for the hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders – according to the Guardian. Its metalworking factories were later turned to bicycles and then motorcycles. By the 1950s, it was the world’s largest motorcycle maker, but it went bankrupt and ceased production in the 1970s. The brand was bought by the Mahindra Group in 2018.
Classic Legends also received support from the UK government, which awarded the BSA Company a GBP 4.6 million (about Rs 48 crore) grant to develop electric bikes which has created a few hundred local jobs. While the development work happens in the UK, Joshi says the benefits of the consortium formed in the UK help the company with its current line up as well.
Classic Legends in India today
Classic Legends today has a portfolio of 8 models – with 5 different engine platforms with different form factors and variants. It intends to build it further and may bring in a twin cylinder motorcycle and EVs also are part of the future product portfolio thought process.
Joshi says,” Yes we have explored twin cylinder bikes, but the front end market in India is still low – so India is not a target market. I would not say we don’t have it on the radar. We would define our priorities based on where the demand is.”
With inputs from Manobhava Baruah