Amidst persistent downturn in auto sector and a slowing economy, Cleveland Cyclewerks has discontinued India operations. While an official confirmation is yet to be provided, a report from Express Drives said that the company’s assembly plant in Pune has not been operational for last eight months.
Several factors seem to be responsible for Cleveland Cyclewerks’ exit from Indian market. Primary among them include the relatively high cost of its motorcycles and the company’s inability to comply with new safety norms such as mandatory ABS. The company was also not able to deal with negative perceptions related to its use of Chinese parts.
Unlike other brands in this segment such as Royal Enfield, which have a rich history dating back to several decades, Cleveland Cyclewerks was a relatively unknown brand in the Indian market. The company was launched in 2009 in United States and its business model is quite simple. Most of its motorcycles use chassis from other motorcycle makers and low cost components from Taiwan and China. The choice of engine is usually Honda.
Cleveland Cyclewerks had made its debut in India at 2018 Auto Expo and had subsequently launched two motorcycles, Ace and Misfit. While Ace was positioned as a retro-modern scrambler, Misfit derived inspiration from a cafe racer. Both these bikes were imported in India as CKDs and assembled at the company’s facility in Pune.
Both bikes utilized a 229 cc, air-cooled engine that generated max power of 15.4 hp and max torque of 16 Nm. This was less than even lower capacity motorcycles. Ace and Misfit were launched at a starting price of 2.23 lakh. This is more expensive than Royal Enfield Classic 350, their main rival.
These factors worked against the company and sales of Ace and Misfit never really took off. The company had opened its first dealership in Mumbai and had plans to open 100 more dealerships by 2019. However, with meagre sales, the plans failed to materialize. The report says that employees of the company were asked to resign at short notice.
If you own an Ace or Misfit, it would be difficult to say how you will get your bike serviced. You will probably have to rely on the expertise of your local mechanic or branded garage shops.