Sad news is filtering through about ‘sick company’ LML (Lohia Machinery LTD) of Kanpur facing bankruptcy.
LML were former Piaggio partners in India, producing the PX and PK under licence before going fully independent and forging ahead with their own models based on Vespa styling but with their own technology. More recently the Star range included both 2-stroke and 4-stroke look-a-likes of the PX including variomatic versions. Indeed we tested the smallframe Star Lite at the beginning of SLUK’s existence.
LML have been registering losses for several years now. When large export markets like Egypt banned the sale of 2-strokes, LML were not particularly fast to produce replacement models. The same applies now with Euro4 in Europe, preventing the sale of any of their current scooter products without expensive investment in upgrades.
Last June we reported that LML had closed their factory for ‘restructuring’ with a view to producing 3-wheelers for the domestic Indian market and at that point the writing was on the wall.
For SLUK this is a sad day because LML were one of the last companies mass-producing manual gear-shift scooters, however both Scomadi and Lambretta (Innocenti SA) are proposing geared models for the future.
For current UK importers MotoGB this puts a big hole in their retro scooter range, no doubt explaining their interest in setting up Royal Alloy and taking an interest in new Lambretta.
As for owners of LML scooters. The good news is that much of the 2-stroke production shared parts with Vespa so it should be easy to keep these machines on the road using pattern parts. For owners of the newer 4-stroke and automatic models the news is much bleaker with shortages of some spare parts already afflicting the brand.
Matt Tipper – who provided our recent GPR exhaust review for the LML 4-stroke – just provided this additional information:
Not insolvent yet,they have until November to propose a way of paying back all their debts. 75% of the creditors have to agree to it,if they dont then LML will be liquidated.
From Tasso who know more about LML than most –
‘LML has been classed a ‘Sick company’ since 2007. This notice is just a formality it has to publicly display like we do here in newspapers. LML just launched it’s Buddy 3wheeler, it received funding only last week for retailing in India. The 4stroke auto and geared will also be sold in India and they are about to start production of it. If I’ve learnt anything with LML it’s a roller coaster. As for export, that’s down to importers in each country, prob is it’s all been fragmented since LML ITALIA lost whole Euro rights. So each individual importers commitment is smaller and they need to mass a large order to make a Euro 4 model. It really needs one company again to throw big numbers at the factory. The problem is LML is not a easy company to deal with, if they don’t see sales quick they jump ship pretty quickly.’