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Mahindra lays out its plans for BSA

BSA’s new owner aims to have its first model on the market for 2019, BDN can reveal.

Addressing a London press conference via video link from India, Rajesh Jejurikah, president and CEO of Mahindra’s agricultural and two-wheeler sectors, said:

* Machines will not be built in India. If a suitable facility can be found they will be assembled in the UK, but otherwise the majority-owned Peugeot Motorcycles plant in France will probably be used.

* Distribution will be through Mahindra’s existing global networks, with specialist distributors set up where necessary.

* BSA will be a stand-alone brand, with no visual connection to Mahindra.

* BSA will be a “premier niche” product “recreating the aura and image of an iconic British brand”.

* Aimed at UK, Europe and the US. BSA branding cannot be used in India, where it is under dispute. Mahindra have recently forged a licensing agreement to make Jawa (a brand well-known in India) on the home market and in some nearby territories.

Classic Legends PVT Ltd, is the arm of Mahindra that bought BSA. It is 60% owned by Mahindra, the remainder portion being owned by private equity. Guiding product policy for CLPL is Joshi Ashish, a lifelong motorcyclist previously with Royal Enfield and Triumph Motorcycles.

Ashish says the iconic Gold Star single epitomises the magic of the BSA name. At the press conference he commented that customer choice is currently limited in the 500cc to 750cc sector. Possibly clues to his thinking?

Teams are being put together, which could include UK design and engineering talent. Although Mahindra owns Pininfarina it wants BSA to look British and not Italian. However, the Italy-based Peugeot Moto 3 race team might contribute to technical development, as might other R&D facilities in the Mahindra empire.

Jejurikah fended off questions from BDN about comparison with Royal Enfield or Triumph, saying that “if you look at other makes too much you end up copying them”. Similarly, he did not want to comment on speculation that Mahindra is interested in the Norton brand.

Fuller report in the December issue of BDN.

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