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04-27-2012, 08:24 AM #1
Vespa returns to India for the second time
Italian scooter brand Vespa has made a comeback after over a decade in the Indian market with the Piaggio Group on Thursday launching a premium model priced at Rs 66,661 (ex-showroom in Maharashtra).
Piaggio is also planning to bring to India more premium brands, both in scooter as well as motorcycle segments.
"Right now there is no premium segment in the Indian scooter market but we believe there are significant number of brand conscious young people who would like to make a statement. Vespa is creating a premium segment by targeting those customers," Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Ravi Chopra said.
The company on Thursday launched the Vespa LX125. The engine for the scooter has been developed keeping in mind the Indian conditions but will also be used in global products of Piaggio in Europe and Asia, he added.
Asked if the company also planned to enter the economy segment, he said: "It may not be of interest to us to enter a market which is cut throat."
On the possibility of entering motorcycle segment, he said: "Piaggio has a range of products and brands from 50 cc scooters to 1,400 cc bikes and superbikes. Today we have just started the journey, we are committed to bring all the global brands that we have that will suit the market here."
Chopra, however, did not share details and timeline for launching other models saying the company is evaluating the market now.
The company has brands like Aprilia, Derbi, Gilera, Moto Guzzi and Scarabeo.
"By September the monthly production will reach 12,000 units which will be then gradually scaled up to 15,000 and 20,000 in a phased manner in due course of time," Chopra said.
The company is investing an additional 20 million euro at its Baramati plant in Maharashtra to double the total installed capacity to three lakh units per annum by 2013.
It has so far invested 30 million euros at the plant.
At present, Piaggio has 50 dealers for the Vespa across 35 cities in India now, Chopra said.
The Vespa brand was first sold in India in the 60s till 80s through a collaboration with Bajaj Auto. Later on Piaggio had a partnership with LML that ended in 1999.