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BSA and Jawa Motorcycles India Buyout

The British Colony uprising continues again

by Ujjwal Dey

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Mahindra and Mahindra subsidiary Classic Legends Pvt. Ltd bought all 120,000 shares of British yesteryear giant BSA Co. Ltd at £28.33 per share, aggregating about £3,400,000, or Rs28 crore. With a presence in Japan, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, BSA had a turnover of £28,233 in fiscal 2015-16. The principal business of BSA is licensing of brands related to motorcycles. Mahindra and Mahindra owns a 60 percent stake in Classic Legends Private Limited (CLPL).


In an official release, the company has also stated that ‘an exclusive brand license agreement has been signed with the iconic Jawa brand of motorcycles. Classic Legends company will launch new products under the BSA and Jawa brands in around two years from now. The company has also stated that ‘the new products will capture the character, DNA and ethos of these brands.'  

Products under the Jawa brand will be introduced mainly for the Indian market, while the BSA brand products will be better suited to international markets. Also, all two-wheelers introduced under the BSA and Jawa brands will not get any Mahindra badging or logo. Classic Legends company will collaborate with Mahindra Racing’s technical development centre in Italy to design and develop products that are in sync with the DNA of the BSA and Jawa brands.


“Our focus on the premium, niche segment through Classic Legends will bring alive iconic brands like BSA and Jawa, not just in the form of products but as an entire lifestyle.” – Mahindra Group



Mahindra and Mahindra Limited (M&M) is an Indian multinational automobile manufacturing corporation headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers by production in India and the largest manufacturer of tractors in the world. It is a part of Mahindra Group, an Indian conglomerate.


Established in 1945, their big step was in 1948 with the assembly under license of the Willys Jeep in India. Mahindra manufactured SUV named Bolero is listed by Guinness World Records as the highest selling SUV model vehicle in the world.


Mahindra started making passenger vehicles firstly with the Logan in April 2007 under the Mahindra Renault joint venture with French company Renault. It had a partnership with Ford USA to build Ford passenger cars in India. M&M made its maiden entry into the heavy trucks segment with the Mahindra Truck and Bus Division, the joint venture with International Truck, USA. The Mahindra company has built and assembled military vehicles, commencing in 1947 (India’s independence was on August 1947) with the importation of the Willys Jeep that had been widely used in World War II. Its line of military vehicles include the Axe. It also maintains a joint venture with BAE Systems, Defense Land Systems India. Its Farm Equipment division received the Deming Prize in 2003.

Mahindra has controlling stake in the REVA Electric Car Company and acquired South Korea's SangYong Motor Company in 2011.

As on 31 March 2013, the company had 34,612 employees, out of which 699 were women (2%). It also had around 16,000 temporary employees on the same date.


Mahindra Two-Wheelers Limited (MTWL)

Mahindra Group entered the two-wheeler industry by taking over Kinetic Motors in India. MTWL has partnered with Taiwan's Sanyang Industry Company (SYM) to help develop its scooter portfolio, and with Italy-based Engines Engineering for research and product design.

In October 2014, Mahindra and Mahindra acquired a 51% controlling stake in the Peugeot Motorcycles Company. Peugeot Motorcycles is a subsidiary of the French automaker Peugeot that builds scooters and small motorcycles primarily for the French domestic market.

Peugeot under Mahindra leadership currently concentrates on 14 different scooter and motorcycle models with engines which range from 50 to 500cc.

Mahindra Two Wheelers Limited company has a 200 strong vendor network spread across the nation of India with more than 300 dealers creating 700 touch points. Mahindra Rodeo won the Gulf Monsoon Scooter Rally in its first year of participation.



The big news in the Indian two-wheeler space is that of a subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra acquiring the iconic British motorcycle brand, BSA for around INR 28 crore. The news follow rumors floating around for some time that Mahindra is looking at acquiring one of two known British motorcycle brands - BSA or Norton.

Mahindra owns 60 percent of Classic Legends Private Limited (CLPL), a company which is just over a year old and which has now bought over the BSA brand. BSA, or Birmingham Small Arms Company is one of the most famous British motorcycle brands, dating back to 1910 when BSA produced its first motorcycle. BSA even owned the Triumph brand at one point and at its peak, was the largest motorcycle producer in the world. By the 1970s, BSA stopped making motorcycles.

The move enables Mahindra to acquire all of the BSA licensing for marketing and merchandising products under the BSA name globally, opening a world of opportunity for re-launching and re-establishing the classic British motorcycle marquee as a 'new' global motorcycle brand.

India’s Tata Motors owns the giant British luxury brands Jaguar and Landrover. Enfield motorcycles existed only in India after World War 2 and is today an Indian motorcycle giant competing against Harley-Davidson in European and American markets.

See our August 2016 Article:

Mahindra Group’s idea behind the BSA acquisition is to revive the brand, use in-house R&D facilities as well as use Peugeot's engineering expertise to develop new products under the BSA name.

The BSA brand, having been one of the most well-known British motorcycle brands along with the likes of Triumph, Norton and even Royal Enfield, has considerable clout and recall. With Triumph already establishing itself with a line of world-class products, both in the 'modern classic' genre as well as completely modern sporty roadsters and cruisers, Mahindra may be looking at emulating some of Triumph's success and even Royal Enfield closer home.

Jawa motorcycles was the only brand name that emerged from behind the iron curtain during the nuclear days of Cold War between Soviet Union and the Western Allies.

Getting together a sharp market strategy and with quality product development in place, Mahindra could well have a winner in the BSA brand. Brands like Peugeot and now, BSA will help develop international brand equity for Mahindra. BSA acquisition offers Mahindra Group a gigantic leap and opportunity to establish itself as a manufacturer of high quality 'premium' motorcycles.

For now, the BSA brand acquisition seems just a statement by Mahindra Group in the motorcycling space. What remains to be seen though is how Mahindra formulates a successful roadmap for reviving the iconic, legendary and historic BSA brand and more importantly, what product development strategy is undertaken.


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Copyright Ujjwal Dey 2016


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Reader Comments

AWESOME !!!!!!!

Kriss Reiff
Grand Junction, CO
Friday, January 27, 2017

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