Indian automotive giant Mahindra and Mahindra is said to be considering acquiring one of the two historic British brands, Norton or BSA. Reportedly, officials from both makers have met with Mahindra representatives, and an announcement as to this entire thing could be expected in three to six months’ time.
Already with a strong presence in motorcycle racing, Mahindra is enjoying its current sixth position in the Moto3 world standings, with Francesco Bagnaia finishing third three times in the first six races of the year. However, Mahindra seems to be looking forward to becoming more active in the road-going segment.
So far, Mahindra bought a majority stake in the scooter division of Peugeot Citroën Automobile Group (PAS) in early 2015, but middleweight and heavyweight motorbikes are still missing from the company roster.
Mahindra is also thought to consider strengthening their presence in the developed markets with such motorcycles, given the fact that the small-displacement bikes that dominate the Indian market are neither as profitable nor attractive in Europe or North America.
Norton is back in business, albeit not enjoying any of the popularity it had decades ago, but represents a significantly better start for such a move than BSA, who are dead and buried, give or take. Norton already has a growing dealer network and models that are in production, whereas BSA is more of a symbol.
Surely, with their deep corporate pockets, Mahindra could easily secure the funds to revive BSA and start building new bikes, provided British engineering is also part of the game.
Using Peugeot’s manufacturing prowess and experience, Mahindra’s new sub-brand could have a fresh start, provided that their bikes will also come with competitive prices. Moving production to India could be a way to cut down costs, but laying off British workers would not be exactly the smartest move for the image of the brand. After all, we guess that Mahindra wants to market these machines and profit from their “British heritage”…