While most of the OEMs have managed to update their existing portfolio in compliance with the new Indian safety regulations which kicked in from April 1, 2020, Mahindra Two Wheelers and UM Motorcycles have been left behind. As per the new regulations, two wheelers with engine displacement of over 125 cc should be equipped with at least single-channel ABS while the smaller engined models should be equipped with CBS (Combi Braking System). The addition of these mandatory safety features warrants development time and significant costs.
As per SIAM’s sales data for April 2019, Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd., and UM Motorcycles sold 0 units. Missing the deadline to update their products with the safety features is the only logical reason for this situation.
Mahindra Two Wheelers have been struggling to make its mark in the highly competitive market. The company kick started its business by entering the volume-rich commuters (Centuro and Pantero), then gave the promising automatic scooter segment a shot (Gusto 110 and 125) before finally trying its luck in the compact displacement sportsbike (Mojo) space. Unfortunately, nothing went MTWL’s way.
The delay in getting its Mojo and Gusto family updated with safety features is certainly not going to help the company which has already been running on fumes for the past several months. It is not clear what is actually causing the delay. Has Mahindra’s top management decided to finally call it quits on the conglomerate’s loss making business? There is no official announcement on this front. If at all there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we don’t see it.
Apart from Jawa Motorcycles, Mahindra does not seem to have any two wheeler sales ongoing. Jawa claims that they are delivering bikes all over India. But many of their customers who had booked on fist day, that is 15th Nov, are still awaiting delivery. Jawa sales for April 2019 are not released. In March 2019, Jawa dispatched 54 motorcycles across India.
Coming to UM Motorcycles, the young American two wheeler brand which partners with Lohia Auto has been having a slow start as well. However, given that the company has quite a few mass-market products in its pipeline, we don’t expect it to hang up its boots yet.
The delay in complying with the mandatory safety regulations not only hurt the OEMs but also their dealer partners. With the BS-VI deadline looming in fast, both MTWL and UM are facing an even bigger challenge. We hope both the brands manage to stay afloat.