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Old 27th May 2016, 13:30   #1
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Default Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

Mahindra Two Wheelers is currently considering buying the rights to two British motorcycle brands; BSA and Norton. The company was in talks with various heritage motorcycle brands from Europe and the US. According to media reports, Mahindra is likely to make an announcement in 3-6 months.

The Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) motorcycles stopped producing motorcycles in early 1970s. The Norton brand was revived by UK businessman Stuart Garner in 2008, and currently has four bikes in its line-up.

Last year Mahindra acquired 51% stake in Peugeot Motorcycles for Rs.216 crore. The company is likely to launch the Peugeot brand in India next month.

Mahindra hasn't been able to make a considerable impact on the Indian two wheeler market. With the Norton and BSA deal, the company would be reviving these brands and might use some of their technologies for its future models.

Source: Economic Times
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Old 27th May 2016, 14:45   #2
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

I would be actually tempted to pick up a Norton, if launched.

The Norton 500 in the movie "The Motorycle Diaries" had a real charm about it ; I would love to own a Norton, if only to imagine myself riding through those dreamy Latin American landscapes.

From IMDB trivia on the movie - "For the film, the crew used restored Nortons, except for the crash scenes, which used modern Suzukis made up to look like Nortons (and christened "Nortsukis"). According to the director, the old Nortons were unfailingly reliable, and the modern Suzukis constantly broke down.
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Old 29th May 2016, 16:56   #3
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

I don't get it!

For a company that is struggling to crack the market with new motorcycles with various partnership and collaboration, how 2 defunct companies will bolster the company profile.

Novelty aside, the marketability of the probable products also seems vague to me. Nortons and BSA's are cult classic motorcycle companies. But they did go out of business. And with RE's fan following and resemblance to the classic products that are on sale today, looks like a doomed investment.
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Old 29th May 2016, 23:52   #4
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

I wonder if Mahindra intends to keep the Norton Commando 961 in production?

These 2016 Norton's cost over $22000.00 (146666.7 rupee's) !

Not the sort of thing very many people in India would want to spend for a motorcycle.

http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/motor...016/Norton.htm
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Old 30th May 2016, 12:55   #5
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

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Originally Posted by Mafia View Post
And with RE's fan following and resemblance to the classic products that are on sale today, looks like a doomed investment.
I was thinking the exact opposite. Wouldn't it be easier to get these classic motorcycles and compete with Royal Enfield, rather than a Pulsar 200 NS?

To place an analogy, it's easier to compete in the UV segment than the fiercely competitive hatchback segment. UVs require lower investment (body-on-frames) as old tech can be used. The Marutis, Hyundais & Hondas are also absent here.

Similarly, Royal Enfield - despite its old tech & inconsistent quality - doesn't have much competition. Wouldn't it be easier to fight with?
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Old 30th May 2016, 13:03   #6
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I was thinking the exact opposite. Wouldn't it be easier to get these classic motorcycles and compete with Royal Enfield, rather than a Pulsar 200 NS?
...
Similarly, Royal Enfield - despite its old tech & inconsistent quality - doesn't have much competition. Wouldn't it be easier to fight with?
Yes, then it becomes a niche space but then they must have really good products to make people want to buy them, giving the Royal Enfield a run for their money (God bless competition ).

Last edited by NPV : 30th May 2016 at 13:07.
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Old 30th May 2016, 13:31   #7
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

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I was thinking the exact opposite. Wouldn't it be easier to get these classic motorcycles and compete with Royal Enfield, rather than a Pulsar 200 NS?
There are so many restrictions. You have to come up with a new engine, say around 500cc( a twin or single to be debated further) and price it below 3L on road for it to be competitive and still have some exclusivity.

Then there is the issue of the After Sales Service. There has a solid back up. IMHO that is currently lacking in Mahindra.

I am not too optimistic about the venture. I hope I am wrong.
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Old 30th May 2016, 17:31   #8
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I think that if they do attempt this and source all the parts to make these motorcycles in a manner which evokes the BSA and Norton brands , they would not be too far from what a triumph base model or a Harley would cost today. That would be a huge marketing challenge to build these brands , in India that is .
After all who knows these brands well enough in India vis a vis a royal Enfield. Then to compete with larger engines, with the likes of the Norton 600 twin of yore updated , would make it face the harley head on. Again a big challenge in terms of RnD, styling the brand and market building. Deep pockets needed.
But , it may be an easier bet than their current play of taking the mass market players head on. That is , if they want to stay in the 2 wheeler business long term.
They have to really work on a gravy.
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Old 30th May 2016, 19:22   #9
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

Mahindra Rumored to Buy Either Norton or BSA and not both as the title suggests!

Quote:
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.

http://www.autoevolution.com/news/ma...sa-107955.html
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Old 30th May 2016, 22:59   #10
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

Who knows?

The BSA 441 Victor could make a return.

With very little modification (like a much larger fuel tank, disk brakes and updated suspension) it could make a very good, Indian made, dual sport adventure motorcycle which would give Royal Enfield's Himalayan some very stiff competition.
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Old 31st May 2016, 13:15   #11
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

If this materializes I think it will be a brilliant move by M&M. Both these brands have had presence in India and these brands are known even outside the enthusiast circles. Both of them have something that most new and established players lack i.e. history, tradition, simplicity, elegance. I can already picture really heart warming ad campaigns featuring soldiers, Bollywood stars of the old, Grandfathers etc riding these bikes back in the day, emotional background track and commentary on the lines of "The legend is back in India".

We Indians are suckers for that sort of a thing.
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Old 31st May 2016, 14:46   #12
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Wouldn't it be easier to get these classic motorcycles and compete with Royal Enfield, rather than a Pulsar 200 NS? Similarly, Similarly, Royal Enfield, despite its old technology & inconsistent quality does not have much competition. Wouldn't it be easier to fight with?
Dear Rushabh - oh my God, I am thrilled! I am so happy to mention that I (with one of my colleagues) really started something way back in the year XXXX (I prefer not to disclose the year), but I think the time has come to post these two photographs here! That's "yours truly" with the prototypes, way before the project was even formally announced in the AGM of 2008! We even named it, it is there on the tank in the second photograph!

Yes Rushabh, I had a dream! That's why I started this thing!

The India customers and the India market are maturing at an exponential rate. In this market, either you are there, or you are wasting your time! It is one thing to get the product right, but it is quite something else to entice many customers to buy it at the same time! India customers are very smart, they understand what gives them value! There are two things to do, to succeed in this market. 1. Do something that nobody has done before. 2. Get unshakeable pride of place in the latent mind-space of the customer!

Point 1: get a "magnet of a product" to lure customers like fireflies to it. Traditional approach will just not work, this is the mistake that everybody is making, not succeeding and then again making the same mistake! But, there was one such "firefly" 2-wheeler product in the Auto Expo this year! (I will always remember that "somebody" had said in a senior executives' conference sometime back, "We must introduce DISCONTINUITY in the system"! (thank you Sir)!

Point 2: There are 4 distinct product segments in India. 1. Two wheelers. 2. Cars. 3. UVs. 4. M&HCVs. It does not take rocket science to identify which Indian manufacturer occupies the latent mind-space of the Indian customer in each of these segments. There is only one manufacturer per segment. The company which has the "firefly" in its portfolio has perfectly executed point 1 with it's "discontinuous" products (starting 30 years ago) and now after 30 years, they have gained entry into point 2! THAT'S PERFECT STRATEGY! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton-behram100cc.jpg  


Last edited by DHABHAR.BEHRAM : 31st May 2016 at 14:50.
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Old 1st June 2016, 19:20   #13
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

If true , I could call it bad news for the marquee brands.

Mahindra has been bad wrt acquisitions and partnerships in past:
Partnerships
1. Ford Escort- over after just one car
2. Renault- logan became verito

M&A
1. Ssyanyong- nothing since rexton
2. Kinetic scooters?
3. SYM- heard something nothing substantial

There must be more I can't recall now
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Old 2nd June 2016, 10:58   #14
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

Tata and JLR shows how it should be done

If Mahindra goes on to own Notorn/BSA, for these brands to retain its appeal.. it needs to keep intact its British origins and roots.. that includes its designing and manufacturing as well.


Another Case in point: The Chinese influence in Benelli is apparent.




Last edited by payeng : 2nd June 2016 at 10:59.
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Old 2nd June 2016, 11:27   #15
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Default Re: Mahindra plans to acquire BSA and Norton

I may be wrong, but I don't know of a company which has had more partnerships / JVs / take-overs in its history.

Mahindra's 'involvements' with other OEMs that I can remember right now:

Passenger cars:
Ford
Renault
Ssangyong
Maini

MUV:
Mitsubishi - Voyager

MCV:
Nissan - Allwyn Nissan / Mahindra Nissan mini truck

HCV:
Navistar

Two wheelers:
Kinetic
SYM
Peugeot
BSA / Norton

Farm equipment:
Sampo Rosenlew
Mitsubishi

Design house:
Pininfarina

Aviation:
Airbus

And as far as I can see, unless they buy out a significant stake in their partner, they just break off the partnership after extracting the know-how they need.

I hope all this 'activity' in the past few years by MTWL (with Peugeot, Engines Engineering, Kinetic, SYM, Mahindra Racing, now BSA / Norton) actually enables them to bring out some brilliant models. I am all for a revival of BSA / Norton, but retaining their iconic cult status - not some watered down version built to a price to compete with other 200 - 250cc bikes in the market.

Last edited by Viju : 2nd June 2016 at 11:30.
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