WHO REMEMBERS THE BSA MOTORCYCLE?
SO HOW ABOUT AN ELECTRIC ONE TO BRING IT FROM THE PAST RIGHT UP TO THE FUTURE?
The Indian company Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd now have a UK BSA factory in their sights, having bought the dormant BSA motorcycle brand in 2016. The chairman of the Indian company, Anand Mahindra, has a grand plan which hopefully will be able to go ahead but, like many other companies, Mahindra is currently waiting to see what happens with a UK/EU Brexit deal before committing his company to the UK. Before any definite plans are realised, Mahindra's company will need to know what a post Brexit UK will look like, for example how easy will it be for trade to operate across borders and what will tariffs look like after Brexit?
The UK government, realising the value of projects like this, have already offered a grant of £4.6 million towards the project, which it is hoped will create approximately 255 UK jobs. The proposed factory, if it goes ahead will be situated in Banbury, in the Midlands near Coventry, hopefully as soon as 2021.
The idea of situating the factory in the UK, according to Mahindra, is to add provenance and authenticity to this old British brand. BSA started life as the Birmingham Small Arms company founded in 1861 to manufacture guns, and it then moved into bicycle production, then motorcycles, which were extensively used in the war effort in the second world war.
Mahindra plans to start manufacturing a more standard BSA motorcycle with a combustion engine, but then move swiftly into production of an electric model once the tipping point in favour of electric engines has been reached. The company has form with reviving struggling motorcycle brands too so they know what they are doing here. It bought up Jawa, the Czech bike company and relaunched it in 2018 selling 50,000 motorcycles in its first year of production.
It's a hopeful sign for the UK motorcycle industry and for UK jobs, so the next few weeks will be critical while we wait to see how the world looks after Brexit.
Do you have experience of the BSA from back in the day? What so you think of this potential relaunch and an electric BSA? Let us know at email@example.com or on Facebook.
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