Mahindra & Mahindra is redialling the two-wheeler business with much vigour. Having acquired Classic Legends, in which it has a 60 percent stake, in 2016 and begun manufacturing Czech brand Jawa motorcycles under license, it also aims to revive iconic British brand BSA, whose global brand rights it has bought out.
For Classic Legends, the two Jawa Forty Two Sports Stripes models launched in February 2021 and priced at Rs 184,000 mark the beginning of its new product offensive this year. Key highlights of the 2021 Jawa and Forty Two range include crossport technology, a more efficient electrical system, retuned suspension for better ground clearance, optimised power and torque delivery, redesigned side stand, revised seating, alloy wheels and tubeless tyres.
According to Ashish Singh Joshi, CEO, Classic Legends: “The Forty Two Sports Stripes variants gave us an invigorating start to the new year with demand surpassing our expectations.”
While the company has not released India market sales numbers for this year, in 12 months of operation, Jawa has sold over 50,000 units till end-November 2020. Joshi says efforts to ramp up production to cater to customer demand were impacted by the lockdown restrictions, especially from the supplier side. “While we have enhanced our capacities and capabilities, some of our suppliers, especially in the western region, were severely affected by the pandemic. Our deliveries also suffered due to dealerships complying with the restrictions in April and, even more so, in May.”
Massive network expansion planned
In an effort to be present across the country, Classic Legends plans to expand its retail network. At present, Jawa has 187 dealerships in 150 cities; the goal is to have 275 dealerships in place by August 2021 and 500 dealerships in the next 12 months or by June 2022. “We started predominately with a metro and Tier 1 footprint, which suffered the most during the current wave. We have massive demand for our dealerships and are utilising that to focus on expanding into smaller towns,” added Joshi.
BSA electric motorcycle in the pipeline
Classic Legends says it has witnessed rapid progress in its global operations. The company’s plans to revive the BSA Motorcycles brand and work on IC-engined motorcycles is underway.
The other bit of news is that BSA is set to foray into the electric motorcycle market, thanks to a 4.6 million pound (Rs 41.67 crore) grant from the UK Government as part of a low carbon automotive initiative across the UK.
BSA was awarded this grant by the UK government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre for development of innovative zero emission motorcycles that support the UK automotive sector’s quest to go green and also create thousands of jobs. Classic Legends says it has already set up a technical centre at its base in Coventry, United Kingdom.
M&M. which is very bullish on electric mobility, has appointed Dr Uli Stuhec as vice-president and Head of the global Born Electric Vehicle (BEV) platform. The company has also consolidated its e-mobility business in two focused verticals: Last Mile Mobility (LMM) and Electric Vehicle Tech Centre. Expect the BSA electric motorcycle project to leverage these Mahindra Group capabilities.