Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman and MD Anand Mahindra on Wednesday admitted that Mahindra’s foray into the commuter two-wheeler market was a failure. Mahindra Group bought Kinetic Motors in July 2008 and relaunched Freedom motorcycles under the Mojo moniker but these have not been able to gain traction in the market even about 10 years after. India’s two-wheeler market is vastly driven by entry-level models, a segment which is dominated by India’s Hero MotoCorp and Japan’s Honda controlling two-thirds of the 21-million units per annum market.
Anand Mahindra went on to say that there have been learnings from the failure of the entry-level products and claimed that Mahindra’s entry into the premium two-wheeler segment has been successful. “We knew our dream well and we had the right things, but how to win is where we went wrong. We should have never gone to the commuter bike side,” Mahindra said, speaking at an event organised by British carrier Virgin Atlantic on looking at ‘business as an adventure’.
Sharing the stage with the Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Mahindra said Jawa motorcycles re-entry in the Indian market has been a success and there continues to be a five-month wait for the motorcycles. Mahindra would soon be launching BSA motorcycles in India, he added.
Of the 21-million unit market, Mahindra sold a paltry 4,004 units in FY19, down 73 percent from FY18. The only player in an over a dozen OEM market behind Mahindra is Kawasaki Motor which sold 3,115 units in the year, according to Siam data. In the year to March 2019, according to the Siam data, the domestic two-wheeler domestic market stood at 21.2 million units, up 4.86 percent from FY18.
In October, Mahindra Two Wheelers had confirmed that it would acquire a 100 percent stake in French two-wheeler manufacturer Peugeot Motocycles (PMTC). under the plan, seven new products will be launched by 2021.
Last month, Anand Mahindra tweeted that Peugeot e-Ludix electric scooter being made in India and exported is now part of the French Presidential fleet. With this, the e-Ludix from Mahindra Two Wheelers became the first electric two-wheeler to be exported to the EU.
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