A plan to resurrect famed British motorcycle brand BSA by building electric motorcycles in the UK has been mooted by Indian businessman Anand Mahindra. Anand, who is chairman of the Mahindra Group, has proposed assembling BSA motorcycles at a plant located in the British Midlands as soon as next year, reports The Guardian.
As part of plans to bring the brand back to life, work on a research facility in Banbury, near Oxford, England, is expected to begin soon. The facility will focus on develop electric motorcycle technology, initially designing motorcycles with internal combustion engines before producing an electric version by the end of 2021.
The choice of selecting UK as a research and production base was made by Anand because of the country’s long history with motorcycles. “The UK was the leader in bikes right from the start,” said Anand in an interview, “that provenance is something that we really want to retain.”
Mahindra had previously purchased a controlling stake in a company that held the rights to the Jawa brand, as well as BSA. The Jawa brand was revived in 2018, leading to sale of some 50,000 units and Anand is hoping to repeat that success with BSA.
Plans are to start assembling BSA motorcycles costing between 5,000 to 10,000 pounds sterling (RM27,130 to RM54,260) using parts and components sourced from UK suppliers. BSA, standing for Birmingham Small Arms, got its start in 1861 manufacturing machine-made firearms for military and sporting use in a facility in Small Heath, Birmingham.
BSA moved into bicycle manufacturing in 1880 before selling the operation to Raleigh in 1957, separating its bicycle and motorcycle business. The first BSA motorcycles were made in 1910, first displayed at the 1910 Olympia Show, London, ceasing motorcycle manufacture in 1973 when BSA-Triumph motorcycle operations were bought over by a British government led initiative known as Norton-Villiers-Triumph.
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