Mahindra & Mahindra-promoted two-wheeler company Classic Legends, with niche brands such as Jawa and Yezdi, is ready to push for growth in the mid-market segment, which it believes will pave the way for opportunities in the future.
The company, which made its debut in late 2018 with the introduction of the Jawa brand, launched its second offering last week, with the launch of the Yezdi brand. It has launched three motorcycles at once with the promise of immediate delivery as against uneven delivery schedules experienced during the Jawa rollout.
Anupam Thareja, co-founder, Classic Legends said, “We got 100,000 bookings when we launched the Jawa. We planned (production of) 30,000-40,000 in the first year. We were supposed to start deliveries six months after we took the bookings. When we ramped up to 10,000 units in January (2020), we were hit by supply chain snags in February, and March we were hit by Covid.”
Since the company depended on a single source for every component it ordered from its suppliers, it soon ran into production snags. It had to shut production if even one component was unavailable since the same could not be ordered from some other supplier.
According to the Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association (FADA), Classic Legends saw the retail of under 2,500 units of the Jawa range during December. However, Thareja claims sales done by the company is more than double the numbers shared by FADA.
“If production does not suffer and all our dealerships are open, then Yezdi has a demand for 10,000 units a month. Our numbers are generally 2X of what FADA states. Sometimes they are close, but our variation is the highest. Including Yezdi, the total numbers would be much more than 5,000 units a month,” Thareja added.
Reintroduction of the Yezdi is the final step of the first phase of Classic Legends. The company will now look to push for exports before jumping to the electric bandwagon to conclude the three strategies.
“Overall investment in designing and industrialising these machines is Rs 700 crore. With the launch of the three bikes, we complete our portfolio of the mid-market segment. While pushing for exports is the second strategy, electric vehicles (EV) is the final one,” Thareja claimed.
Legendary British bike brand BSA is leading the charge for Classic Legends in the EV space. The UK government’s Advanced Propulsion System (APS) is the part financier of the BSA EV project. The idea is to create a modern retro, authentic, electric motorcycle that is unmistakably British. The project includes a bespoke battery, with a specially designed motor that creates the right retro-torque with an authentic sound. The total project value is £9.2 million, with £4.6 million funded through the APC.
“We knew electric is set to come, so we started developing EV from Day 1. We could have launched electric even before we got these (Jawa and Yezdi) out. What we did not want to do was a badging job from China and label it electric. The category we are getting into does not lend itself to be electric immediately in India, so our electric will start from the western markets and percolate into India, definitely in the next two years,” Thareja added.