Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) will put the French scooter brand Peugeot under a review programme to decide the future of the loss-making subsidiary, which includes the possibility of a complete exit by the SUV specialist from ownership.
Bought in early 2015 by a subsidiary of M&M, Peugeot Motorcycles (PMTC) has not generated profits even once in any of the financial years since the takeover. While M&M managed to trim losses, the challenges posed during Covid-19 disrupted M&M’s road map for PMTC, forcing a category review of its classification.
Housed in Category A
For prudent allocation of capital and resources, following the onset of the pandemic, M&M housed its subsidiaries into three different categories. Some of its subsidiaries which had a clear path to 18 per cent RoE were housed in Category A. Entities with delayed or unclear paths to profitability but quantifiable strategic impact, were put in Category B.
Category C housed those companies which had unclear paths to profitability. For this M&M explored options like forging a partnership, exploring an alliance and a full shutdown. Loss-making subsidiaries such as SsangYong, GenZe, GippsAero, Saboro Dairy and Mahindra First Choice Services belonged to Category C.
Anish Shah, Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “We had initially classified PMTC under Category A, because we felt it would get on the path to 18 per cent return (on equity) in a reasonable time frame. But Covid has hurt the cause because of various challenges in Europe and China and the freight (problem) from China to Europe.”
“So, all those (Covid-19) challenges led to a performance (of PMTC) worse than what we had planned for. The milestones we had outlined for Category A companies were not met and therefore (PMTC) is under review right now. So, we are reviewing whether we should change it (or not), should it be (Category) A or C. We will come back with a final answer on that once we complete the review,” Shah added.
M&M will be looking for potential investors to take Italian electric supercar maker Automobili Pininfarina to the ‘next level’. No further fund infusion will be made by M&M into Pininfarina for product development activities. The Italian brand is preparing to start selling its maiden electric supercar Battista before October this year. “It was clear that we won’t be investing a lot more going beyond the product, Battista. Sales of the model will start in a couple of months and with it we will see funds flowing in. We made initial investments to get this up and running but beyond that we are not making further investments in the next set of models. We will look for potential investors and work with them to take the company to the next level,” Shah added.
Mahindra Group liquidated Pininfarina Engineering, the engineering and vehicle development service provider, in late 2020 due to its irrelevance in the future strategy.