The British press reports that Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra plans to revive the famed BSA marque as soon as next year, but with a twist.
The new firm, BSA Company, would produce gas-powered and electric motorcycles in the Midlands of England beginning as early as mid-2021.
The Guardian newspaper reports Mahindra is chairman of the Mahindra Group conglomerate that is the world’s largest manufacturer of tractors and the 20th largest carmaker by sales.
“In 2016, it picked up a controlling stake in a company that had bought the BSA brand, as well as Czech brand Jawa. Jawa was relaunched in 2018, with 50,000 sales in its first full year, an achievement Mahindra now wants to repeat with BSA,” the newspaper said.
To read the full story, go to theguardian.com/business/2020/nov/16/bsa-electric-bike-motorcycles-uk.
The British Birmingham Small Arms Co., known as BSA, produce motorcycles that ultimately became among the most iconic in the world. BSA Gold Stars, Shooting Stars and other models earned a reputation for performance on the track, and played a large role in the brand remaining popular long after the factory shuttered its doors in the 1970s.
The Birmingham Small Arms Co. was formed in 1861 by a group of gun makers to supply weapons to the British government during the Crimean War. As the war declined, the company branched out into making bicycles, and by 1903 produced its first experimental motorcycle, along with automobiles. Its first in-house motorcycle appeared in 1910, and a subsidiary, BSA Motorcycles Ltd., was created after the first World War.
The company focused on refining its motorcycles into well-regarded, reliable transportation that sold well in England, where BSA boasted that one in four motorcycles on the road was made by the company. From the beginning and throughout its history, BSA made a splash with the evocative names it chose for its motorcycles: Blue Star, Empire Star, Golden Flash, Road Rocket, Spitfire, Thunderbolt and Lightning are among the most well known. Perhaps its most famous model was the Gold Star, “born” in 1938 but refined after WWII. It was named after the Gold Star pins awarded to motorcycles that lapped the famed Brooklands track in England at more than 100 mph, and would ultimately become the bike of choice among England’s young rockers, who stripped them of unnecessary parts and hot rodded them into cafe racers.
In the 1960s, small, reliable, oil-tight Japanese machines were gaining momentum. To strengthen its position, BSA merged with Triumph, and had mild success with its Rocket 3, a three-cylinder bike that shared its engine and drivetrain with the Triumph Trident. Nevertheless, by the 1970s, performance Japanese motorcycles had displaced BSAs in the minds of many motorcyclists. Following a merger with the Norton Villiers Triumph Group, the combined company stopped producing BSA-branded machines in 1973.