Exclusive! Cleveland Cyclewerks Closes Motorcycle Business in India
Cleveland Motorcycles hit the Indian full-gun market at Auto Expo 2018. The company’s motorcycles, the Ace and Misfit, looked like a mix of neo-retro jammers and cafe racers. Nevertheless, the prices of the motorcycles were also announced and the company also started to create dealerships. They had a 16,000 square foot assembly center in Pune. However, things took a turn for the worse once ABS standards came into effect. We bring you all the details.
About Cleveland Cyclewerks and their operations
Cleveland Cyclewerks is known for its customizable motorcycles. The company does not have a rich history as it was only founded in 2009 by a group of friends. The foundation was simple. Use low cost facilities in China and Taiwan, borrow chassis from other motorcycle manufacturers, and primarily use Honda engines. It worked for Cleveland as most of the local branches import the motorcycles and then sell them. In India, however, Cleveland has partnered with Laish-Madison Motorwerks Private Limited. The latter has a good experience, it seems, with two-wheelers. In India, the motorcycles arrived as CKD kits. This was the first time Cleveland Cyclewerks (CCW) had performed CKDs. There was only a five percent localization and that was through the tires, wiring, etc. Laish-Madison’s Pranav Desai was the CEO of Cleveland Cyclewerks India.
Cleveland, as we discussed earlier, launched its products at Auto Expo 2018. This gave them leeway against new mandatory safety regulations. The standards dictated that a new motorcycle with a displacement of more than 125 cc, after April 2019, should have ABS. Cleveland at that time said they had ABS products in the pipeline and the Ace as well as the Misfit would gain that technology. The lack of ABS, Cleveland said, has allowed the automaker to price the motorcycles competitively. At Rs 2.23 lakh, a single cylinder motorcycle from an unknown manufacturer was doomed from the start. In addition, the 229 cc engine was air-cooled and produced a meager power of 15.4 hp and 16 Nm. Namely, the Yamaha R15 with a 150 cc core produced more power, offered more electronics and was much cheaper.
CCW started with a dealership in Mumbai. This dealer was in Vashi. CCW intended to open 100 concessions by the end of 2018, with the initial plan being four.
What is happening now?
Currently there are no operational CCW dealers in India. An informed source says reservations were meager, the bikes were of poor quality and were never updated with ABS. This means that they could not be sold once the safety standards come into effect. The Pune plant was also barely functional and the source says it was more of a bare base unit. The factory closed its doors almost eight months ago. Our source confirmed that many employees were also asked to leave without notice. We tried to contact Cleveland India to find out more about this, but received no response.
Although there is no official announcement, the Indian website of CCW is now gone. Even the global website has an â€œInvestâ€ banner at the top and it takes you to another page that will provide details. It appears that CCW, as the source also confirmed, is no longer operational in India. If you brought one of the motorcycles from CCW, we don’t know how things will turn out for you in terms of service.
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