News : Mahindra acquires BSA and Peugeot Motorcycles

 News : Mahindra acquires BSA and Peugeot Motorcycles

Mahindra acquires BSA, Jawa and Peugeot Motorcycles

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M & M) is an Indian-based company operating in nine different segments. It is one of the largest automobile producers in India as well as the biggest manufacturers of tractors in the world. These segments include

The automotive segment for sales of vehicle spare parts and similar services, farm equipment segment, Information technology, financial services, steel trading and processing, infrastructure, hospitality segment and finally Systech segment.

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In 1945 the company was then known as Mahindra and Mohammed Ltd and was later dubbed Mahindra and Mahindra in 1948. Over the years gone by, the company has developed many varying interests in new industries and foreign markets. It was in their quest for discovery that they entered the two-wheeler market with the acquisition and takeover of the Indian Company Kinetic Motors.

The company boasts of various subsidiaries worldwide which help in managing and marketing Mahindra products. Among the subsidiaries one can find: Mahindra Europe S.r.l. in Italy, Mahindra USA Inc, Mahindra South Africa and Mahindra tractor Co. Ltd in China. The company also features a wide range of car models manufactured over the years such as the Scorpio and the Bolero.

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The backbone of the company is based on the driving purpose which is Humanities Innate Desire to Rise. They are confidently aimed at challenging conventional thinking as well as making innovative use of their resources to make the company help the global community to Rise.

The acquisition of certain priced assets from Kinetic Motors Company Limited in 2008 introduced Mahindra and Mahindra to the two- wheeler market. This branch is known as the Mahindra Two Wheelers Limited. It helped them launch their range of Power Scooters making the brand to make huge amounts of profits. In order to showcase their prowess in engineering and their tech savvy abilities, they became the first Indian Company to compete at the FIM Moto3™ Motorcycle Racing Championship.

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This was then closely followed by their entry into the motorcycle market in 2013. In their portfolio of current products one can find: scooters such as Duro DZ, Gusto 125 and Rodeo UZO just to name a few and motorcycles such as Centuro NXT, centuro Rockstar and mojo 300.

BSA also known as Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited started making bikes as far back as the late 1800s with their final real motorcycle having a 499cc side valve engine produced in 1910. Originally they were a gun manufacturing company. They were once the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. Listed among the renowned brands of BSA bikes one can find the Bantam, the 500cc Gold star and the BSA Lightning.

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Growing competition in the 1960s led to the slow decline of the brand regardless of the new models built during that period such as the BSA Rocket. Their decline was imputed on the following factors; poor management, lack of innovation in their designs, complacency and more production hereby finally stopped around the year 1973. The company later witnessed a change of hands in 1991 and 1994 with the latest purchaser being M & M in 2016.

If you are an Indian born in the 1980’s then you will definitely be familiar with household names such as Jawa, Royal Enfield, Rajdoot and even Yezdi. Right up to 1973 Jawa motorcycles were sold in India before an unfortunate replacement by Yezdi bikes which were greatly cherished by their owners. The 90’s saw the decline of most huge, bulky, sparkly and iconic motorcycles of the Indian motorcycle market which was rapidly replaced by the much more compact, comfortable and easy to use scooters and bikes. Only the Royal Enfield made it through this strategic period.

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The iconic brand JAWA was founded by a Bohemian (Czech nowadays) František Janeček who produced his first bike the JAWA 500 OHV in 1929 using a German Wanderer he purchased. By building a more economical brand in 1930 he stopped the production of the 500cc OHV. This Jawa 175 became very renowned in Czechoslovakia. Exportation to third world countries boomed in 1948 and 1961 saw the entry of Jawz into India. In 1971 new motorcycles made by Jawa became marketed under the name Yezdi. However their Indian operations were halted in 1996.

In late 2016, Mahindra & Mahindra announced the acquisition of not only BSA the British motorcycle firm but also the license to manufacture and market Jawa Motorcycles. After this announcement came a two-year long period of silence after which the executive chairman Anand dropped a hint on the future comeback of the Jawa brand in India this year.

Mahindra acquired a 100% share in BSA Company limited enabling them to possess licenses for sales and marketing of products under the BSA brand name worldwide. This provides a new plan of action for the M & M Company who wants to change their two-wheeler business portfolio which was mostly centered on scooters for the past years. The retro model BSA bikes will be sold in the USA, the UK and Italy.

On the other hand the Jawa brand of products officially acquired also by Mahindra will be produced in India and the bikes will be destined to carry not the Mahindra name but to carry on their personal heritage. The Jawa being a global brand has several brands with different models on sales in many countries. Jawa models are simple, archaic and also lacking modern features. Mahindra wishes to carry out production on the already existing platform used for the Mojo

In addition to this the Mahindra company hopes to bring unto the market new variants and alterations to the original two-wheeler brand, the Mojo.

The acquisition of these three companies is a step in a new direction for Mahindra and an investment in the world of the two-wheelers with a desire to create a new lifestyle via these brands.  A lifestyle better described as a neo-retro or a retro-modern style. These bikes are built to compete with the Royal Enfield which presently occupies more than 90% of the two-wheeler market in India.

For an example we will give a few specs on the new Jawa 300cc single released last month. It is particularly designed to look like an old school two-stroke as well as the fact that it is made to sound like one with a well-tuned twin exhaust.

The Mahindra and Mahindra finally released the new Jawa motorcycles named Jawa, Jawa Perak and Jawa 42 in November of this year. They were long awaited by various fans and enthusiasts and will be selling at prices defying all competition. Looking at both the Jawa and the Jawa 42 you will realize they have a retro design similar to the original Jawa models sold in the 20th century. But unlike their sibling predecessors they are ready to ride and have an engine that stands out. . This new retro bike boasts of 293cc water cooled DOHC fuel injected engine.

It is said to be capable of generating a 27 horsepower with a 28 Nm torque. The bikes engines come attached to a six speed gearbox. The Jawa Perak on the other hand comes bearing a 334cc engine with a larger bore but similar stoke to the first two. Even though Mahindra built the engine based on the same unit as that found in the Mahindra Mojo, it was made to sound almost identical to the original Jawas that graced the market back in the day. Both models that is Jawa and Jawa 42 come in various colour choice: Jawa ( jawa black, jawa grey and jawa maroon) and the Jawa 42 ( comet red, nebula blue, lumos lime, starlight blue, galactic green and hally’s teal ).

Peugeot Motorcycles is basically known for being a subordinate company to the well renowned famous French manufacturer Peugeot. Nonetheless, the motorcycles built by Peugeot are extra favored worldwide because of their high tech engines and superior advanced features. When the Peugeot cousins Eugene and Armand decided to start their own companies, the motorcycle faction saw the light. Because Eugene had a vision to build motorcycles he used the free space in his cousin’s Beaulieu factory. 1898 saw the release of the first ever Peugeot motorcycle at the Paris Exhibition. Though it never reached production stage however, it had a one in a kind queer design with the engine placed perpendicular to the rear wheel.

Officially the first bike produced by Peugeot was a tricycle with a 239.5cc engine made by their then partner Dion Bouton. Next came the quadricycles in 1900 equipped with saddles and could emit more power. Unfortunately their production was halted in 1903 when consumers complained about the difficulty in driving them in comparison to cars.

Their first real motorcycle the Motobicyclette came in 1901 with a displacement of 198cc and 1.5 hp on a Swiss ZL engine. Peugeot later tried their hands at racing using a 500cc twin cylinder engine bike which managed to break the speed record of 122 km/h. with the coming of British completion they released two new 500cc 4-stroke engines named 515 and 517.

Then came the domination of the motorcycle market by the Japanese company leading to the downfall of Peugeot even though it happened to be the lead French Motorcycle manufacturer. In 1987, Peugeot separated its motorcycle division from the bicycle division with the motorcycle segment named Peugeot Motorcycles. In recent years, the company produces scooters and three-wheelers with displacement ranging from 50cc to 500cc.

It was in October 2014 that M & M acquired a 51% controlling shares in Peugeot motorcycles. It was only recently that they launched two brand new models, the Peugeot P2 Roadster and the Peugeot P2X Café Racer during the Paris Motor show.

After the 70 year hiatus Peugeot motorcycle comes back in full force under the guiding hand of Mahindra and Mahindra. The 300cc café racer comes with a robust and aggressive riding posture; it is a modern-retro café racer. The 125cc roadster on the other hand is a modern-classic street bike with oval headlights, teardrop shaped fuel tank, raised handlebars and short front fender similar to the café racer.

Both bikes come powered by a single cylinder, liquid cooled DOHC motor, upside-down forks. Both have twin shock absorbers at the rear but where the café racer has Y-spoke alloy wheels, the roadster has wire spoke wheels. Their base model happens to be the Mahindra Mojo. Also both of the bikes feature front and rear ABS and a five inch color dashboard complete with i-Connect Bluetooth for smartphone pairing and GPS.

The roadster comes with a look similar to the Peugeot 515 of the 1930’s while the café racer comes in Peugeot sports colors with additional clip-on bars, forged wheels and a single seat.

In addition to all this, Mahindra has laid out a brilliant plan known as Performance 2020 geared at manufacturing 125cc to 300cc motorcycles under the Peugeot brand name, electric Scooters in India and who knows maybe even lots more.

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Akash Dolas

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