Anand Mahindra to give a big surprise to bike lovers?
Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), on Monday hinted at a Christmas gift for bike lovers with a promise of a “shiny” new motorcycle from the company’s BSA brand. He posted a tweet with an image of Santa riding a BSA motorcycle, and said that the company is working on reviving the brand. “We’re sorry you’ve missed out on your favourite ride for all these years, Santa…We’re working on getting it back for you…A shiny new one, but with all the character of your old steed..,” he tweeted. The image shows an illustrated Santa riding a bike with BSA written on the front wheel fender. M&M, through its subsidiary Classic Legends, had in October last year acquired the famous British motorcycle brand, BSA Company. Since then, M&M has shifted its focus to premium motorcycles to engineer a turnaround of its loss making two-wheeler business, Mahindra Two Wheelers Limited (MTWL), which reported a staggering loss of Rs 471 crore in the previous fiscal. “MTWL past business strategy was focused on addressing the mass two wheeler market. Given the market response, MTWL has decided to make a strategy shift by focusing on the niche premium two wheeler segment,” the company said in its annual report.
The BSA brand is expected to help the company enter the premium motorcycle market in India and enable it to venture into new international markets. BSA has presence in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the US, Mexico and Canada. BSA could help M&M enter the fastest growing motorcycle segment in the country, the mid-capacity motorcycle category (bikes with engine sizes of between 250cc and 750cc). Apart from the leader in the space, Royal Enfield, which dominates with a near 90% market share, several others are entering this segment, given a growing demand for powerful bikes. Bajaj Auto in January this year launched the Dominar, which has eaten into Royal Enfield’s market share. In August, it announced a worldwide partnership with UK-based Triumph Motorcycles to strengthen its position. Through the alliance, Bajaj Auto plans to develop mid-capacity motorcycles for the Indian and global markets.
TVS Motors is the latest entrant in the category. It recently launched the Apache RR 310 to mark its entry into the higher engine capacity segment. Other players such as Honda Motorcycles & Scooters are also believed to be eyeing a push into the segment with India-specific models. Along with BSA, M&M also acquired the Jawa brand of motorcycles, which has a cult following in the domestic market. The company has, however, not disclosed a tentative launch date for the brand in India as of now. The company plans to launch a motorcycle under the Jawa brand in the next financial year.
If one reminisces about the Yezdi bike that many Bollywood stars used to ride in their hey days, he might just get to ride it in a new avatar.