WORDS BY ALAN CATHCART PHOTOS BY ALAN CATHCART, ARCHIVE
The ongoing revival of Britain’s historic motorcycle brands has saved the biggest and in some ways the best until last, with the news that the rights to the BSA name and associated intellectual property in the brand have been purchased by one of India’s biggest industrial conglomerates, the Mahindra Group.
Headquartered in Mumbai, Mahindra is a major producer of all types of vehicles in India, and the largest manufacturer of tractors in the world.
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Since 2008 it has attempted to forge a role in India’s huge but intensely competitive two-wheeler market, without notable success.
Now, in a change of strategy, in a deal signed on October 20 with David Bennett, CEO of UK-based Regal Engineering (which until now held the BSA trademark), Mahindra has signalled that it’s now targeting premium sectors of the motorcycle business – and moreover, exclusively those in overseas markets.
It cannot use the BSA trademark in India because of ongoing litigation between Regal and an Indian company. Perhaps because of that, it’s reliably understood that it also attempted to purchase Norton, but in declining to confirm this owner Stuart Garner simply stated: “I’m not a seller – to anyone.”
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