Eight years after Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd entered India’s intensely competitive two-wheeler market, the Anand Mahindra-led firm is re-charting its course. As part of a newly-crafted strategy, the maker of Gusto scooters and Centuro motorcycles plans to target the premium segment even as it scales down the mass market business, in a bid to become profitable, the company’s top officials said at a press meet on Tuesday.
As part of the move, Mahindra has bought a controlling stake in Classic Legends Pvt. Ltd, which recently acquired British motorcycle company BSA Co. along with all its existing global brand rights. Classic Legends has also signed an exclusive brand licence agreement for the iconic Czechoslovakian brand called Jawa.
Mahindra also has invested in several moto brands in recent years, including Peugeot. While it hasn’t detailed its plans for BSA, it is expected to use it to enter the premium motorcycle space, where it will compete against the likes of Triumph and Moto Guzzi.
Like Royal Enfield, another heritage British brand based in India today, BSA was originally an offshoot of a weapons manufacturer, the Birmingham Small Arms Company. It stopped manufacturing motorcycles in the 1970’s, and several efforts to resuscitate it since proved unsuccessful.
“Our plan is to focus more on the premium niche segment as we move forward,” said Pawan Goenka, executive director at Mahindra and Mahindra. He said the company aims to co-create a lifestyle company and allow customers to relive the experience of owning some classic motorcycle brands.
Owing to the cult status the Jawa brand enjoys in India, it will address domestic markets, said Rajesh Jejurikar, chief executive and president two-wheelers and farm equipment business at the firm.