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10/05/2019

Nigel Godwin of Scomadi(GB) has laid out the company's plan to develop the Scomadi brand after it was revealed the company had taken over UK distribution of the British-designed retro scooter.

The founders of Scomadi Ltd, Frank Sanderson, his wife, Kaye, and Paul Melici, are said now to be pursing their own business interests. Melici resigned as a director of Scomadi Ltd in March 2019 and is reportedly going to concentrate on his business, PM Tuning, based in Morecambe. Frank Sanderson is said to be continuing to work on R&D for the Thai manufacturer of the brand, Scomadi Worldwide. BDN has tried to contact both men, so far without success.

New distributor Scomadi(GB), whose directors are Nigel Godwin and Peter Reid (the latter also being a director of Scooter Moda - a dealership set up in 2013 to retail Scomadi) will be running Scomadi(GB) from the former Olympia Car Auction site in London Road, Preston and says it will regularise and improve supplies of the five-model range.

Godwin told BDN that he, Reid and Neil Spencer Coe (a director of Scooter Moda) had previously put up money to guarantee Scomadi Ltd’s stocking plan, funding the purchase and delivery of a container-load of scooters from the manufacturer in Thailand. Scomadi(GB) had been negotiating with Frank Sanderson to take over the UK distribution when it says it was informed Scomadi Ltd was “going into liquidation”.

Godwin said a deal allowing UK distribution had been signed with Scomadi Worldwide (basically the Thai manufacturer) and would take effect on 20 May.

“The idea is that we will make the distribution of Scomadi scooters more streamlined, more efficient. There will be none of this waiting for stock and having angry customers. What we don’t sell to our dealer network we know we can sell through Scooter Moda because in the past we never had enough machines.

“The point of all this is to keep Scomadi going. After throwing a fair bit of money in we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t sustainable, the way it was being done. We are definitely not a phoenix company and we will be running the distribution with warranties and everything.

“We are all sales orientated. For us it will be a good venture. It has been expensive but we are going to keep ploughing money in … everything is ready to rock and roll.”

Godwin said Scomadi Ltd had suffered cash flow challenges as a result of its 2017 High Court action against Chinese manufacturer Hanway and the UK importer of its Royal Alloy scooter, Chorley-based Moto GB. All parties eventually agreed to end the case.

“The cost of the solicitors had pushed cash flow to the limit, and the case didn’t get anywhere anyway,” said Godwin.

Scomadi Ltd’s website lists 25 dealers and 28 service centres across the UK. Godwin claimed there were actually slightly more but that the latest news “might put a few of them off”. Scomadi(GB) wanted to open up the network, especially on the service side, while striking the right balance to avoid oversaturation. “At the end of the day the dealers are in it to make some money,” said Godwin. 

“We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t think Scomadi had a bright future. We will be supporting the dealers.”

Scomadi Worldwide has now emailed the dealer network - see foot of this article.

Godwin said Scomadi(GB) believed in the Scomadi range, which was "a clever mix of classic styling and modern safety features and had been accepted by scooter aficionados".

The latest chapter in the Scomadi story broke on 7 May when Scooter Moda posted on Facebook: “Today we were finally informed that Scomadi Ltd, which we have supported since day one which owes us a considerable amount of money, is going into liquidation. We have financially and commercially supported them without question and feel aggrieved by their action. We will not be beaten. We are here for all you guys who have trust in Scomadi.

“Successful negotiations with Scomadi Worldwide have resulted in us [Scomadi(GB)] being appointed the distributor for the UK and we will commit to best practice, customer service and satisfaction. Please bear with us while we get up to speed.”

Scomadi has had a bumpy ride since the company was founded in 2005. The Sandersons and Melici initially planned to have their scooters built by Hanway in China.

After a disagreement, Scomadi production was switched to Thailand.

When news broke in 2017 that Hanway was to produce a Royal Alloy scooter, similar to the Scomadi, the UK company began legal proceedings at the High Court in London to prevent the Chinese scooters coming into the EU via Chorley-based importer/distributor Moto GB.

When the High Court found in favour of Royal Alloy-maker Hanway/Moto GB on the central issues, Scomadi said it would appeal.

On 29 January 2019 it was announced that “all proceedings between Scomadi, Royal Alloy and the various other parties relating to the recent litigation have now come to an end”.

STATEMENT FROM SCOMADI WORLDWIDE TO ITS UK DEALERS

Dear Dealers

Scomadi Worldwide Ltd are pleased to announce that they have appointed a new distributor for Scomadi scooters in the UK – Scomadi(GB) Ltd.  Scomadi Worldwide and Scomadi Ltd have taken this step due to Frank and Paul’s growing responsibilities as shareholders in the Scomadi Thai manufacturing plant and the expansion of the Scomadi brand worldwide, meaning that more time is being spent overseas for ever lengthening periods of time to concentrate on product development.

Scomadi(GB) Ltd will concentrate solely on distribution throughout the UK with a purpose of providing dealers and service centres with ongoing warranty support, product knowledge and will take time to understand each dealers requirements to maximise sales in the future.  We are in the process of transitioning the spare parts to ensure continuity with the after sales and warranty support. Coincidentally, all directors are avid rally-going scooterists.

Here is a little introduction to the new team:

Nigel Godwin, who we call "Dynamo" due to his boundless supplies of energy and desire to succeed at any given task. Nigel, a successful businessman with years of sales and marketing experience is an all-round nice guy with a heart of gold, he has an entrepreneurial streak having his own expanding group of hospitality venues and experience in the entertainment and licensed trade .Nigel will be the day to day face of Scomadi(GB) Ltd, travelling the length and breadth of the UK visiting the dealers and will always be on hand to offer assistance to the dealers and service centres.  Nigel and the new team will be in touch to arrange new dealer and service centre agreements with Scomadi(GB) Ltd.

Spencer Coe, who is responsible for putting the team together is the Managing Director of one of the largest mobility aid company's in the UK ‘ScootaMart Ltd’.  Spencer also brings a wealth of sales, marketing and distribution experience, and with his in-depth knowledge of Lithium battery powered vehicles, this will be of benefit for Scomadi as plans are being made to expand into the electric powered market.

Peter Reid, whose name may be familiar to many happy Scomadi customers, though his role as Director at the Scooter Moda dealership in Preston Lancashire, brings vast experience to the new company not only with his Scomadi knowledge but also from his many years' experience in the sales media industry, having been the National Sales Manager at Guardian Media Group (Auto Trader group) and a lecturer on sales training and processes and broadcast media business development management.

Scomadi(GB) Ltd will take over the distribution in the UK with effect from 20 Monday 2019. 

Kind regards

Scomadi Ltd

More in the next issue of BDN.

Scooter Moda was broken into earlier in the week.