Originally Lohia Machines Ltd (LML) had partnered Italy’s Piaggio in the ’80s to sell the LML Vespa scooter in India. However, with its partnershipwith Piaggio breaking down around 1999, and failure of several revival plans — including the launch of motorcycles through a partnership with Daelim Motor of South Korea — the company went into insolvency and had to shut shop around 2018. Now, it’s coming back in a new electric avatar after the brand was purchased by SG Corporate Mobility, a company that dabbled in consumer electronics and most recently in electric two-wheelers.
The use of Harley’s erstwhile factory in Manesar, Haryana, which is now owned by Saera Electric Auto (that also makes Mayuri e-rickshaws), will make it quicker to churnout the two-wheelers.
Yogesh Bhatia, CEO of SG Corporate Mobility, who also manages the LML Electric brand, says that the companywill start selling its products from January after first showcasing them later this month. “In the initial run, we are looking at three products. Thesewould be a hyper bike with pedal assist, an e-scooter, and an ebike. Our products will start to hit the market by the first quarter of 2023, and will be targeted not only at India but also across European and other global markets,” Bhatia told TOI.
Bhatia said initial investments in the LML business are around Rs 350 crore. “We are developing the technology through our own resources, while going to global design houses for getting the quintessential Italian styling. ” On contract manufacturing at the former Harley plant, Bhatia said the move offers “strong manufacturing ecosystem with assembly lines & robotic machines”.