M&M decides against acquisition of Scooters India stake

Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra today said it had decided against acquisition of over 95 per cent stake in the beleaguered PSU firm Scooters India at present, as it had "various things" to do.

"We have done our analysis and we have decided not to go after it. We are not pursuing it anymore," Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) president (automotive and farm equipment sectors) Pawan Goenka told reporters in New Delhi.

He added though that keeping away from participating in the race to acquire Scooters India Ltd (SIL) did not mean that M&M has closed the option for all time.

"As of now we are not interested and it does not mean that we will never look at it. We have various things to do at Mahindra & Mahindra," Goenka said without elaborating further.

In May, M&M had said it would consider the possibility of acquiring a stake in the state-run auto firm and would announce a final decision on the acquisition of SIL within the following 45 days.

"We will examine the opportunity and decide whether to approach the government. We will look to give any update in about 45 days," a M&M spokesperson had said.
 
The government had announced it would divest its entire 95.38 per cent stake in the firm with the aim of reviving the company that had been incurring losses since 2002-03.
 
Talking about M&M's sedan Verito, Goenka said the company was considering launching two new versions of the car by the end of this fiscal.
 
"While one will be a refreshed version, the other one will be a smaller car that will be sub-four metre in length," he added.
 
Replying to a question about its South Korean auto firm SsangYong Motor Company (SYMC), Goenka said, "The sales have been good this year. So far SYMC has sold 55,000 units in January-June period and its target is to sell 1.25 lakh units for the entire 2011".
M&M had earlier announced an investment of $250 million in SYMC for product development and other purposes, he added.
 
"We are looking to introduce SYMC's products in India by the end of this fiscal. We will introduce Rexton and Korando-C here that will be launched as completely knocked down units from our Chankan facility in Maharashtra," he said.

Besides, exports of the Korean firm were also growing and it was now looking to start independent exports of its vehicles to China by the end of 2011.
 
"Earlier SYMC was selling vehicles in China through SAIC . Now we have appointed two distributors there and independent exports will start towards the end of this year," Goenka said.