Global two-wheeler manufacturer Piaggio on Thursday launched its Vespa scooter - LX-125 in India, priced at Rs 66,000 (ex-showroom Mumbai). The company is looking to create a premium luxury space in scooter segment with Vespa.
This is a second coming of sorts in India for Vespa. It was first sold in India in the 1960s till the ‘80s through collaboration with Bajaj Auto. Later, Piaggio had a partnership with LML that ended in 1999.
According to the Italian company, the time is right to launch Vespa in India as people are looking for scooters to make lifestyle statement.
"Right now there is no premium segment in the Indian scooter market but we believe there is a significant number of brand conscious young people who would like to make a statement. Vespa is creating a premium segment by targeting those customers," said Ravi Chopra, Vehicles Chairman and Managing Director at Piaggio.
Vespa is a bestselling two-wheeler brand in Europe. Piaggio also owns brands like Aprilia, Derbi, Gilera, Moto Guzzi and Scarabeo.
The company is targeting annual sales of 3 lakh Vespa scooters by 2013 through a network of 50 showrooms in 35 cities across India. It has invested €50 million (approximately Rs 350 crore) to set up a plant in Baramati, Maharashtra.
According to Chopra, the plant will have a monthly capacity of 12,000 units by September, and which gradually will be scaled up to 15,000 and 20,000 in a phased manner.
“Baramati plant for Vespa has initial capacity at 150,000 units per annum,” Chopra said.
The company is further looking to double annual capacity to 300,000 units by mid-2013.
“We will be investing another €20 million for doubling the plant capacity,” Chopra said, adding that they can increase capacity further, depending on demand.
The company also said that Vespa has 100 per cent localization. Localization is the quantum of local suppliers, which helps Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) save costs by avoiding imports.
The Italian automobile manufacturer also plans to expand its presence in India by launching more two wheeler products from its global portfolio. “First want to establish Vespa but Piaggio has plans to expand two wheeler product range in India,” Chopra said.
Piaggio already has a portfolio with two wheeler products ranging from 50 cc to 1400 cc. “We are looking at every possibility to introduce more products in India,” the Piaggio Chief said.
Engine: 4 stroke, 3 valve, single cylinder, air cooled
Displacement: 125 cc
Max power: 10.6 ps @ 7500 rpm
Max torque: 10.6 ps @6000 rpm
Transmission: continuous variable transmission
Ignition: Self and kick-start
Battery - 12V, 5Ah low maintenance
Headlamp - multi focal with 35 W halogen
Front - single arm with coil spring and dual effect shock absorber
Rear - coil spring and dual effect shock absorber
Frame - monocoque steel high rigidity structure
Dimension - 1770x690x1140 mm
Seat height - 770 mm
Tyre size - 90/100-10 53J
Fuel tank capacity - 8 litres
Available in 6 colours
(With inputs from PTI)