Scooters India plan new launches


Aiming for a bigger market share, public sector auto maker Scooters India is exploring options to launch new products.

"Your company is evaluating various new product development options to cater to various market segments with a view to higher production and sales," Scooters India Ltd (SIL) said in its Annual Report for 2010-11.

It, however, did not share further details such as whether the products will be a three-wheeler or two-wheeler and when it is likely to be introduced in the market.



The company is planning new launches even as it has incurred losses for over nine years. It is also scouting for a buyer.

In the report, the company said it has not paid salaries to the tune of Rs 4.62 crore to its employees during the last financial year. It also defaulted in paying back Rs 14.42 crore of loans and interests to the government as on March 31 this year.

Talking about workers and its salaries, the auditors said in the report, "The company has made statutory contravention by defaulting on salary and wages amounting to Rs 294.45 lakh and therefore not depositing Rs 167.53 lakh of PF/pension to the trust/PF authorities."

The company accepted that its relationship with workers were not cordial during 2010-11 as it "continued to be under stress" due to non-fulfilment of employees' aspirations.

"The aspiration of employees regarding wage revision and retirement age could not be fulfilled due to company's poor financial health," it added.

The retirement age has been increased to 60 years now from 58 years earlier, it said.

Besides, the company has also defaulted in repayment of debt that was taken from the Central government.

"Due to continuing losses, the company has not repaid principal amount of Rs 787.20 lakh and interest of Rs 658.58 lakh as on March 31, 2011," SIL said.

It also defaulted in repaying the instalment of term loan of Rs 37.32 crore and interests of Rs 9.42 crore, payable to Government of India.

Earlier in May this year, the Cabinet had approved divestment of the government's entire 95.38% stake in SIL, which has been suffering losses since 2002-03 and its entire networth completely eroded by 2008-09.

In March 2009, the company was declared sick and went to the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE). As on 2010-11, it had a net loss of Rs 17.11 crore.

Incorporated in 1972, SIL started commercial production of scooters under the brand name of 'Vijai Super' for domestic market and 'Lambretta' for overseas market.

Later, it ventured into three-wheelers with the 'Vikram' brand. However, in 1997 the firm stopped two-wheeler production and has since been into manufacturing and marketing 3-wheelers only.