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Mahindra Have Bought BSA For $4.1 Million!

Published October 26, 2016

It looks like another British marque will rise from the ashes in the near future, as Mahindra have just bought the rights to the classic British name. While we were all distracted by the teasing of a new Norton superbike, or marveling at the very interesting (and highly priced) offerings of Brough Superior, another curious deal was being worked out behind closed doors. Indian firm Mahindra & Mahindra have bought the full 100% of BSA for the extravagant figure of £3.4 million GPB, or $4.1 million dollars if you prefer. You might be thinking that the price was pretty low for a motorcycle company – but when you hear that BSA only made $34k in licensing over the last year, you’ll change your mind.

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The last “proper” BSA motorcycle was made back in 1973; other companies have acquired the rights to the name, but their offerings were pretty lackluster, to say the least. It’s been a dismal few decades for the Birmingham Small Arms name, who once famously produced the Browning .303 machine gun, various cars and buses, and of course, their famous line of motorcycles. Once the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer, producing incredible machines like the Bantam, the Gold Star single, the A10 Rocket Gold Star twin, and the Rocket III triple, BSA suffered in the same way that almost all British manufacturer suffered: a mixture of complacency, bad management and of course…the Japanese.

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Obviously, Mahindra have a plan for BSA, and if you look at the current retro-modern trend, they may be on to a winner. Take Royal Enfield as a prime example, they’ve managed to rebrand themselves into a stylish alternative for young and cool riders – rather than the old stuffy restoration crowd of yore. Or they could go another way, and work like BMW have with TVS: building a whole new platform, using Indian industry and labor, but badging is as something that’s held in higher esteem in the west. Imagine an affordable Indian machine, but badged up as a BSA – there’s definitely a market. Or they could go the Brough Superior and Norton route, and offer luxury motorcycles, small production batches, and add a hefty price tag.

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It doesn’t really matter which way they go, because people will buy the BSA name if it was stamped on an old hat. Or rather, a new hat that’s been given the vintage treatment. Well done Mahindra, I can see this deal paying for itself in no time at all!

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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