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Old 10th October 2019, 09:09   #1
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Default UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

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NEW DELHI: American bikemaker UM Motorcycles has stopped its operations completely due to a dispute with its local joint venture partner Lohia Auto. Several people confirmed to ETAuto that either of the parties isn't planning any effort to revive the brand, thereby jeopardising businesses of its dealer partners across the country.

Anticipating no support from either of the joint venture partners, most dealers have shut their shops and the remaining few are servicing sold products, people familiar with the matter told ETAuto.

“The company has stopped production at its Kashipur plant. And every two months, the company is hinting that they will start operations but there is no positive sign.” a Meerut based dealer said.
Source: ET Auto
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Old 10th October 2019, 12:41   #2
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Default re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

This is such a sad state of affairs. I mean, if such JVs turns out to be a bummer, how consumers will get confidence to pick up a new entrant in the market. No surprise why majority of the buyers sticking to the tried and tested brands.

I can’t imagine the plight of the factory workers as well and the capital investment that would have gone into set up these!
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Old 10th October 2019, 12:51   #3
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

Do check out Crazy Driver's excellent thread at this link (UM Motorcycles - The way forward?).

I never trusted them because of their lies. "We are American" when in fact, they were only selling re-branded Chinese bikes. Customers & dealers have to be wary of fresh new brands (unless it's a big international one like Kia or MG). Already, there have been so many small + new players in the 2-wheeler segment.

Dealers should just cut their losses and move on. Feel terrible about owners of UM Motorcycles though.
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Old 10th October 2019, 13:04   #4
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

I think they would have had a better chance if they entered right now when new brands are getting a positive response (MG, Kia).

India is a tough market and they din't try hard enough. Selling rebranded chinese bikes marketed as American ones backed up with a poor service network doesn't cut it. Feel sorry for their workers and owners.

Almost all of UM's presence in other countries are through Joint Ventures. Wonder how well they are doing?

Some of their marketing and history exposed.
https://www.quora.com/Any-idea-about...even-Wikipedia

Last edited by TSIboy : 10th October 2019 at 13:12. Reason: Adding link
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Old 10th October 2019, 13:59   #5
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

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Originally Posted by TSIboy View Post
I think they would have had a better chance if they entered right now when new brands are getting a positive response (MG, Kia).
It was more to do with the actual Products than anything else (including entry timing).

I could see this coming even before it was launched in India.
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Old 10th October 2019, 15:03   #6
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

Such vanishing stories are not rare in the bike world, but sadly the customers and dealers get a raw deal at the end.
Having seen the background of this so called US company and seeing their bikes, I always felt majority of the buyers of these bikes are the ones that incline heavily on their heart rather than head in making their buying decision.

While I agree looks are subjective, I personally felt these bikes were very crudely designed to mimic the big cruisers, and with relatively puny engines (by 'their own' American standards!).

For new buyers, my humble suggestion is- if that new dream bike from a reputed brand is beyond your budget, dont settle for a cheaply put together clone, rather wait some more time and save up or just go the pre-owned route with a reputed, tried & tested brand. After all, if the reputed brand unexpectedly shuts shop also, we can always find parts and consumables from multiple sources on the net across the world.

Last edited by Haroon : 10th October 2019 at 15:05.
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Old 10th October 2019, 15:15   #7
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

This doesn't surprise me any bit at all ! Have never seen them organize any marketing event be it Group Rides, Owner groups or even advertisements - a bare minimum for anyone with plans to establish themselves !

- It's not fair to compare them with the likes of MG or KIA, these are behemoths with very deep pockets
- They could have done better if they had some JV with some major Indian OEM Ex : Bajaj / TVS, this could have given them some breathing space in terms of operations and marketing
- They had only 2 products from Day 1 with no " Editions " as well !
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Old 11th October 2019, 11:40   #8
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

Isnt MG doing the same thing? Calling themselves "European" when they are actually a Chinese brand now? I agree that their attitude may be better than UM though.
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Old 11th October 2019, 13:09   #9
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

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Originally Posted by gopalnt View Post
Isnt MG doing the same thing? Calling themselves "European" when they are actually a Chinese brand now? I agree that their attitude may be better than UM though.
Would have been the same if the Chinese acquired Harley and called themselves American.

Chinese acquired MG brand which has British history and origins.

UM doesn't have an American history to boast of! Just the brand themselves decided to call themselves American outside of America, by selling Chinese products.
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Old 11th October 2019, 13:56   #10
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

Quality of UM bikes was visibly appalling from the get-go. I didn't even dare to test drive them, looking at the wobbly crude panels and dials.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I never trusted them because of their lies. "We are American" when in fact, they were only selling re-branded Chinese bikes. Customers & dealers have to be wary of fresh new brands (unless it's a big international one like Kia or MG).
I never trusted them because of their lies. "We are British" when in fact, they were only selling re-branded Chinese cars.

I wonder how is MG any different in their branding?

Last edited by ani_meher : 11th October 2019 at 14:05.
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Old 11th October 2019, 14:13   #11
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

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Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
Quality of UM bikes was visibly appalling from the get-go. I didn't even dare to test drive them, looking at the wobbly crude panels and dials.



I never trusted them because of their lies. "We are British" when in fact, they were only selling re-branded Chinese cars.

I wonder how is MG any different in their branding?
It is rather simple. Had UM acquired a bankrupt American bike maker's assets and employees and funded them to design and develop bikes, and launched their bikes here, then they can call themselves American.

This is precisely why Volvo is still Swedish, JLR is still British, Chrysler is still American, Benelli is still Italian, etc.

But when Kumar motors from Delhi suddenly claims to be British, that is when people have a problem. That, is a lie.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 13:37   #12
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

This just in from the FADA:

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The Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) has taken up the cause of the dealers of ‘UM Motorcycles’, which motorcycles are manufactured and sold in India by UM Lohia Two Wheelers Pvt. Ltd (UM Lohia).

UM Lohia is a joint venture between the Lohia Group and UM Motorcycles, an American motorcycle company. The joint venture was set up in 2016 to manufacture and sell in India ‘American’ style motorcycles under the brand of ‘UM Motorcycles’.

The dealers are aggrieved by the dishonesty and fraud on part of the management and promoters of UM Lohia, including founders Mr. Ayush Kumar Lohia and Mr. Jose Miguel Villegas, which has plagued the relationship between them since beginning and has caused huge losses to dealers as well as exposed them to unwarranted litigation from customers of UM Motorcycles.

The dealers’ woes began as soon as UM Lohia entered the market with its motorcycles. It soon came to light that the so called ‘American’ motorcycles were actually being assembled from Chinese parts at UM Lohia’s manufacturing plant in Kashipur, Uttar Pradesh. Consumer interest immediately dipped as no one wanted to purchase cheap Chinese replicas of ‘American’ motorcycles. The brand lost its value, and with it the investments of dealers, who were now holding a product few desired.

Further, at the time when the entire automobile industry in India was moving towards BS-IV emission standards, UM Lohia chose to enter the market by introducing BS-III motorcycles in the 2nd half of 2016, even though, the ban on sale of BS-III vehicles was to take effect in a few months, from April 2017. As soon as the ban on BS-III vehicles came into effect, the dealers of UM Lohia were left with a huge inventory of BS-III motorcycles which was not only undesired by customers but now also legally unsellable. UM Lohia, however, refused to compensate dealers for this unsellable stock and also refused to return the advance payments given by many dealers.

It is only after much cajoling that UM Lohia even acknowledged the problem. Even then, instead of buying back the BS-III motorcycles from the dealers and returning their advances, UM Lohia came up with the scheme to sell BS-IV motorcycles to dealers in lieu of their stock of BS-III motorcycles and advances. However, the BS-IV motorcycles supplied by UM Lohia were entirely unfit to ply on roads with several basic components such as EFI Module controller and Gear breaking down within few days of use of the motorcycles by the customers.

To make matters worse, UM Lohia has now surreptitiously folded up its operations and shut down its warehouse for spare parts making it impossible for dealers to service the warranty claims on the defective UM motorcycles. As a result, many dealers have been exposed to litigation from customers of UM motorcycles.

In all this, UM Lohia, its promoters and its management, have shown no inclination or interest in resolving the dealers’ grievances, despite several attempts made by the dealers, first themselves, and then, through FADA.

The promoters of UM Lohia have now started new ventures – the Lohia group is now investing in the e-vehicles segment and once again finding dealers for this new venture.

Accordingly, to protect the interests of the customers and the dealers, FADA, through its counsel Khaitan & Co, has issued a legal notice to UM Lohia and its management, calling upon them to redress all grievances of dealers relating to the losses suffered by dealers due to actions of UM Lohia and to take steps to ensure the maintenance and servicing of motorcycles already sold in accordance with the warranty terms and law.

If UM Lohia & its management does not respond to our legal notice, FADA will have no other option but to take appropriate legal measures against the Company, its Management and all others concerned with this matter. Simultaneously, FADA will also update and involve Government Authorities in this matter.

Last edited by Aditya : 23rd October 2019 at 14:48. Reason: Typo
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Old 23rd October 2019, 13:57   #13
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Default Re: UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering

They have already started new things!
The UM bikes seem to have vanished from their website

UM Lohia two-wheeler JV stops operations, leaves all dealers floundering-um.jpg

But here they still mention UM motorcycles!
https://lohiaauto.com/uml.php
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