Why is Classic Legends (Jawa/Yezdi) STUCK?

Classic Legends is about to complete five years of its motorcycles in India. We take a look at Jawa sales (including Yezdis) for the last four fiscals…

Mahindra’s solo entry into the world of 2-wheelers did not work out. The Indian automobile behemoth decided to tweak its strategy – and instead of trying to build its own brand in this sphere, it thought of bringing back 2-3 iconic brands under its ownership. And hence, Jawa, Yezdi (and BSA) were re-born.

The innings restarted with Jawa – probably the most popular of the lot – back in 2018. Which means that Classic Legends (the Mahindra subsidiary that owns the three iconic brands) is now almost five years old in the market with its motorcycles. This, then gives us an opportune time to see how are things going for them…

But wait, Classic Legends, after the initial few months, stopped sharing its wholesale numbers to the world without giving a proper justification. Back in 2019, it said that it will share the numbers at the ‘right time‘. And to the best of my knowledge that ‘right time’ hasn’t arrived yet as Classic Legends continues to hide its wholesales – after almost five years!

So, what we have are the FADA shared retail numbers – the actual registrations at RTOs – which, I believe, are a real indicator of sales and the trend. So, let us quickly talk about them…

Jawa Sales History (Includes Yezdis Numbers)

YearSalesAverage Per Month
FY 2019-2027,318 units2276 units
FY 2020-2120,801 units1733 units
FY 2021-2229,779 units2481 units
FY 2022-2340,190 units3349 units

Just to be up-to-date, Classic Legends retailed 2274 units in April 2023 and 2333 units in May 2023 – both of which were significantly lower than the respective months of last year. In all these above mentioned financial years, Jawa’s market share has revolved between 0.16 percent to 0.25 percent.

jawa sales
Jawa Yezdi have a fairly big list of motorcycles ranging from this bobber to ADVs and more…

If you look closely, Classic Legends was stuck in the 20,000 to 30,000 units a year range till financial year 2022 with average sales of roughly 2000 units a month. Addition of Yezdi (introduced in January 2022) has definitely given the brand a push but just! We do not expect the brand to reveal individual numbers of Jawa and Yezdi separately but if we attribute those additional numbers of 10,000-12,000 to the Yezdis (should at least be these numbers, no?), then again Jawa was stuck in that under 30K band!

Just to give you an idea of how big is this retro-classic motorcycle segment, you should read my article – So How BIG is Royal Enfield…? For the lazy ones among you, Royal Enfield did wholesales of almost 7.35 Lakh units – an average of more than 61,000 units a month. Honda managed over 31,000 units from its single CB350 platform in the 2023 fiscal.

In straightforward terms, Classic Legends is almost stuck and not growing at a pace at which it should have, with such legendary brands on its back that have an immediate recall. There have been consistent issues plaguing the company that range from late deliveries to quality niggles to high level exits and clearly, things may not have settled down for them. 2000-3000 units a month for such iconic brands are peanuts specially when they have a fairly big kitty of 6 odd motorcycles targeting different users.

jawa sales
The Yezdi Adventure appears to be a direct copy of the Himalayan…

Another problem I see is the lack of demarcation between Yezdis and Jawas in terms of placement. In older times, Yezdis were placed under Jawas. In today’s times, both a broadly placed at a similar pedestal, probably causing cannabalization. Moreover, Yezdi’s blatant copy of the Himalayan was definitely something that it could have avoided. Another bit reported by users is that many Jawa/Yezdi models come with accessories that are not a part of the original motorcycle but buyers have to pay for them as they are mandatory.

2-Wheeler January 2023 Sales (Retail) – Top 4 Makers

Anything else that you see is a gap that Classic Legends may want to plug…? I want to hear from Jawa/Yezdi owners specially…

Note – The above numbers are compiled by FADA in association with Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and include most RTOs across India…