Classic Legends may bring BSA motorcycles to India by 2025

CEO Ashish Joshi also revealed that Classic Legends was open to exploring twin-cylinder bikes.

By Ketan Thakkar and Manobhava Baruah calendar 18 Jan 2024 Views icon4058 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Classic Legends may bring BSA motorcycles to India by 2025

Buoyed by fresh fund infusion plans, Classic Legends, Mahindra & Mahindra’s premium two-wheeler division is looking to expand its range of models, dealership footprint, and stake in global markets. This is in addition to possibly introducing BSA, a UK-based brand of motorcycles, to Indian shores, to have a meaningful stake in this emerging space.

“We’re currently looking at demand fulfillment for BSA across 12 to 13 European countries, and the US is going to take a lot, not only in terms of capacity but energy, as well,” Ashish Joshi, CEO of Classic Legends, told Autocar Professional. “Besides, if it can be launched in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, why miss India?"

While the timeline for BSA’s market launch is still being finalised, Autocar Professional has learned that the EV-only brand is likely to hit Indian roads within the next 12 to 18 months. Moreover, the company is looking to develop a twin-cylinder motorcycle, apart from reinforcing its core Yezdi and Jawa bikes in the 350-500 cc segment.

BSA, which already has a presence in key developed markets in Europe, will be rolled out in Australasia and the US in 2024, as part of the brand’s global expansion strategy. The roadmap also includes Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India, where the electric bike will be manufactured at Mahindra & Mahindra’s plant in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh.

Classic Legends currently averages about 4,000 to 5,000 bikes per month and now has a renewed focus on product launches, network expansion and widening its global footprint. Although Joshi refrained from sharing targets or timelines, he sees potential for a multifold increase in volumes.

In December 2023, M&M had announced plans to invest Rs 875 crore over the next two to three years to fund its growth, to be sourced through internal accruals and external investors. This year, the company is planning to bring in new versions of the Yezdi and expand its dealership footprint in the country from 423 to 500 outlets to accrue incremental sales.

If BSA is launched in India, the EV bike from Classic Legends may be here around the same time as market leader Royal Enfield’s entry into the electric space, which is scheduled for H1 2025.

BSA, which stands for Birmingham Small Arms, was founded in 1861 to manufacture guns at Small Heath. Its metalworking factories were later turned into setups for bicycles and then motorcycles. By the 1950s, it became the world’s largest motorcycle maker, but it went bankrupt in the 1970s and ceased production. The Mahindra Group bought the brand in 2016.

Classic Legends also received support from the UK government, which awarded BSA a 4.6 million pound grant to develop electric bikes. This has since created a few hundred local jobs. While the development work happens in the UK, Joshi said the benefits of the consortium formed in the UK will help Mahindra & Mahindra with its current lineup, as well.

Today, Classic Legends has a portfolio of eight models with five different engine platforms, a range of form factors and other variants. A twin-cylinder motorcycle and more EVs may add to its repertoire.

“Yes, we have explored twin-cylinder bikes, but the front-end market in India is still low. So this is not the target market,” Joshi said. “I wouldn’t say it’s not on the radar. We will define our priorities based on where the demand is.”

Joshi made the statements on the sidelines of the new Jawa 350 rollout in Mumbai on Wednesday. Here, he also said they aspired to be the No. 2 brand in India in the growing mid-size motorcycle segment. At present, Royal Enfield is the world’s largest mid-size motorcycle maker, with sales of nearly 8.5 lakh units globally.

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