Both Jawa and BSA used to make some beautiful motorcycles, but that was a long, long time ago. Today, most of those who loved either of these two motorcycle companies might be a bit too old to buy a new bike. Younger riders, on the other hand, might have no emotional connect with these brands. Hence, does it really make sense for Mahindra to revive BSA and Jawa?
Indian car and motorcycle manufacturer, Mahindra (which already has a 51% stake in Peugeot Motorcycles) has acquired a controlling stake in Classic Legends and through this new subsidiary, has acquired all existing global brand rights for BSA motorcycles, paying an amount of US$4.13 million. Mahindra, through Classic Legends, has also signed a brand license agreement with Jawa, for India and other selected areas in Asia. "With the acquisition of Classic Legends, M&M aims to co-create a lifestyle mobility company with exciting and relevant partners across products and services, and enter into previously untapped segments using iconic brands like BSA and JAWA," says a press note from Mahindra.
Jawa was already present in India from the 1950s to the late-1990s, while BSA will be entering the Indian market for the first time. Jawa still produces a few ancient machines, while BSA currently does not make any motorcycles at all. Hence, Mahindra will design and build brand-new bikes, from scratch, for both brands. "Our focus on the premium, niche segment through Classic Legends will bring alive some iconic brands like BSA and JAWA, not just in the form of products but as an entire lifestyle," says Dr Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, Mahindra & Mahindra.
While Mahindra, a US$ 17.8 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, would certainly have the financial muscle to revive former greats like Jawa and BSA, we don't if they will be able to capture the essential essence, the heart and soul, of those two motorcycle brands with brand-new bikes designed and built in India, which are expected to be launched by 2018. For the sake of Jawa and BSA fans, we can only hope that this goes well.