India’s Mahindra Two Wheelers has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares in scooter manufacturer Peugeot Motocycles (PMTC) from French automotive giant Groupe PSA, parent of the Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall and Opel car brands, for an undisclosed sum — taking full control of the business.
Based at Mandeure in France, PMTC was founded in 1898 and claims to be the world’s oldest bike manufacturer. Most famously, a Peugeot engine took Rembrandt Fowler’s Norton-badged machine to victory at the first-ever Isle of Man TT race in 1907.
Mahindra Two Wheelers, which is part of the huge Indian Mahindra & Mahindra automotive conglomerate, originally bought a majority 51% stake in PMTC during 2015 for £24m. It also owns the formerly British BSA brand and has licensed rights to use the Czech Jawa brand in India. Mahindra will continue to employ the Peugeot name on PMTC products when assuming ownership of the company, through a trade licensing agreement with PSA.
PMTC was unprofitable at the time of the 2015 partial takeover and has been bleeding money ever since. Accumulated losses reached £111m by the end of 2018, when Mahindra Two Wheelers management “right-sized” the French factory’s workforce by making a fifth of them redundant. Hopes for a turnaround rest on a recent £10m investment to develop a Peugeot-monikered electric scooter, produced by Mahindra in India for the European market.