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Bob
15th July 2004, 22:58
A British investment firm is ‘very close’ to buying Indian, according to reports.

At the 29th June auction, Stellican Limited put down a deposit to gain the right of first refusal for Indian’s trademarks and logos. “We are currently evaluating the Indian brand and the potential that it represents,” Stellican principal David Wright said Tuesday. “Stellican Limited looks at heritage brands as part of its daily business.”

According to former Indian President, Rey Sotelo, Stellican officials are wavering between Gilroy and Sarasota as an Indian production site. Sotelo also claimed that Stellican founder Stephen Juliun asked him what position he would like with a new Indian company. There was no formal job offer, however. If they want him involved, he said he will try to sway them toward his home town of Gilroy, home to Indian for the last five years.

This seems unlikely when considering that Sotelo claims he will keep working on a new motorcycle brand he and business partner Geoge Nobile are developing.

Likely plans for Indian are to start slowly, making 1,500 to 2,000 bikes a year instead of the previous Indian company’s original three-year goal of 16,000.

So is the Indian story to get a happy ending this time around? This fan of the marque hopes so.

Bob
27th July 2004, 23:18
Stellican Limited, a London-based private equity firm, today announced the acquisition of the trademarks and related intellectual property of Indian.

Indian is America’s oldest motorcycle brand. Founded in 1901 in Springfield, Indian led the US marketplace for the next 50 years with a market share approaching 50% and played an important part in the US war effort during WWII, supplying some 40,000 bikes to the US forces.

Following the war, Indian struggled – some analysts say it was due to their insistence on using inline four-cylinder engines when rivals such as Harley-Davidson were putting out cheaper to manufacture twins that killed off the company and they filed for bankruptcy in 1953.

That was it for the next 45 years until in 1998 the brand was relaunched by investor groups – sadly, despite rising sales, their major creditors removed their credit lines and the company folded once again in September 2003.

But will Indian rise from the ashes yet again? Following the purchase of the trademarks and property of the company, Stellican appear to be positive about re-launching the company for the third time.

“We are excited about this challenge and are confident Indian will live up to its great potential under our ownership. This is a tremendous opportunity to revive a great American brand and we intend to do exactly that,“ said David Wright, a Partner at Stellican.

It seems the plan is to build sales gradually, with targets in the early years nowhere near the ones set by the last incarnation of Indian – a factor which helped lead to their downfall (and one that CCM in the UK recently sadly copied).

What?
28th July 2004, 06:44
Wonder if they will buy Enfield back from India for an engine source?? :eek:

Bob
28th July 2004, 18:58
Wonder if they will buy Enfield back from India for an engine source?? :eek:

I think they'd prefer to make a success of the company... :killingme

I always like finding articles about Royal Enfield in the Indian press - in their eyes, REs are desirable, powerful, performance machines! If you ever get to see something like the India Times, the way they describe Enfields is pretty similar to the way motorcycle press worldwide talk about Ducatis! :msn-wink:

moko
29th July 2004, 06:19
I`d love to see Kawasaki buy it,slap Indian badges on the Drifter and watch Harley squeel.

Bob
29th July 2004, 07:14
I`d love to see Kawasaki buy it,slap Indian badges on the Drifter and watch Harley squeel.

Interesting you should mention Kawasaki - they used to own part of the Indian name (how do you own part of a name? Did they have 'Ind', or maybe just the two 'I's?), or at least have rights to it in certain countries.

The Big 4 are looking much more at the US cruiser market these days - but yes, if one of them (and I think the Drifter range would have been the biggest cage-rattler) had been up for re-badging, then a mass-produced - and more importantly quality machine - would have had Milwaukee looking very nervously over their shoulders.

National pride is big in the US - keep it fairly quiet about who really owns the company and bang on big time about "The CHIEF name in US biking for over 50 years, now SCOUTing for people who want the SPIRIT of a new biking experience" (very deliberate puns) and the crowds would flock to them.

Damn, I should have been a copywriter!!!! Or maybe not...