Lohia Machinery Limited
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|Traded as||BSE: 500255, NSE: LML|
|Predecessors||Lohia Machines Limited|
|Headquarters||Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India|
|Key people||Deepak Singhania (Chairman & Managing Director)
K K Shangloo Director
|Revenue||264 crore (US$43 million) 2009–2011|
History and overview
Incorporated as Lohia Machines Private Limited in 1972, the company was engaged in manufacture of synthetic yarn manufacturing machines in technical collaboration with ARCT,[clarification needed] France. In 1978, it became a public limited company and diversified into processing synthetic yarn.
In 1984 a technical collaboration agreement was signed with Piaggio of Italy and a scooter project was set up. The relationship with Piaggio was redefined to that of a partner in 1990, both partners having equal equity participation of 23.6% each.
The LML Select was launched in 1993, with new age technology and aesthetics, and became an instant success. LML's joint venture with Piaggio ended in 1999.
LML continued to manufacture the Star, a classically styled steel-bodied scooter with twist-shift 4-speed manual transmission and a 150cc two-stroke engine.
Some of these were distributed in the United States as the Stella and in the UK as A.K. International (AKII). AKII's Aura LML & A.K. International (I&E) Ltd was appointed the sole distributor for UK In 2008. Star Deluxe was re-introduced to the U.K. market by AKII (I&E) Ltd, with the Via Toscana as the Euro 3 emissions compliant model.
Again in 1999, an agreement was signed with Daelim Motor Company of South Korea to manufacture four-stroke motorcycles. In 2000 the company was recognized by the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology for remarkable success in introducing new models/upgrades of scooters in the market with more fuel-efficient engines, new electrical systems, latest emission norms, upgraded technology, better styling etc., and that year entered the motorcycle market with upper end lifestyle bikes in 100 cc, using three-valve technology.
Freedom LML's first deluxe commuter motorcycle in 110 cc was launched in 2002, next year Spirit of Freedom (range expansion through colours) was launched. In 2004,LML introduced LML Graptor, marking its entry into the 150 cc lifestyle segment. It was the first indigenously designed bike from Ugolini of Italy. 2004 marked LML's transition from a single product company to a multi-product two-wheeler company with three simultaneous launches: the LML Graptor (150 cc), the LML Freedom Prima (110 cc) and LML Freedom Prima (125 cc).
Owing to excesses and over-spending, the company has been under financial constraints ever since its foray into bi-wheeler manufacturing, with dividend being declared only twice to its shareholders in spite of contemporary bi-wheeler manufacturers like TVS, HERO HONDA AND BAJAJ AUTO not only growing multifold but also enhancing shareholders' worth. Even new entrants into the scooter market like HONDA MOTORCYCLE & SCOOTERS have achieved volumes of 50,000 units per month, which LML could never achieve with its full range of Scooters and motor-cycles. The bankruptcy has dealt a severe blow to SSI units in Kanpur, who were engaged in feeding critical and propriety items to LML since early 1980s, with many closing down or facing huge financial burden on themselves. The workmen and staff of LML and vendor SSI Units, who have been out of work since Feb 2006 are also finding it extremely difficult to make both ends meet and to even feed their dependents.
New finance were obtained from Credit Suisse July of 2006 and other institutions and the factory reopened on March 8, 2008 to manufacture geared Vespa style scooters, primarily for export. In the year 2008, LML appointed K K Shangloo as Special Director on the Board of Company under the provisions of Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985.
In the year 2010, LML launched LML Freedom DX, a 110 cc bike in the Sport category.
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