We haven’t heard much about it in 2020, probably mostly because of COVID-19, but BSA is on its way back. The long-dead British motorcycle brand is in the midst of a revival by Indian manufacturing giant Mahindra Group, and supposedly, the reborn company may have a big focus on electric bikes.
When the Mahindra Group started the process of acquiring BSA back in 2016, it was in the early days of Royal Enfield’s massive revival. Back then, it made sense for Mahindra to follow Royal Enfield’s pattern, and crank out retro bikes for the Indian market. However, in the past couple of years, Royal Enfield’s hit a bit of a sales wall, and ever-tightening emissions regulations in India and other countries mean moto manufacturers must look at alternatives to gasoline for the long term.
So, it’s not really surprising that Indian industrialist Anand Mahindra plans to move BSA towards electric motorcycles. In an interview with the UK’s Daily Mail in November, Mahindra said the plan is to concentrate on building gas-powered motorcycles first. He hopes to see BSA producing motorcycles in the UK as early as next year. Mahindra also plans to build an electric motorcycle research facility in the UK soon (think, coming months!), and hopes to have those machines in production by end of next year as well.
Is that realistic? It’s hard to say, but it’s worth noting that Norton’s been revitalized after receiving an injection of hustle from new Indian owners at TVS. Maybe BSA will see the same rejuvenation? It’s hard to start a motorcycle company from scratch, but remember Mahindra and other Indian manufacturers aren’t actually starting from nothing. They’ve been building motorcycles for the cutthroat Indian market for years, and they know how to get stuff done in a hurry, or they wouldn’t survive.