Piaggio Vehicles, the wholly owned Indian subsidiary of the Piaggio Group of Italy, unveiled the iconic Vespa at the Expo. Since its launch in 1946 as the world’s first scooter, the Vespa is present today in over 100 countries with over 17 million units sold.
With its entry into the Indian market, Piaggio plans to create a premium segment for the Vespa brand, positioning it as a lifestyle product with its very own Vespa Club.
Unveiling the Vespa, Ravi Chopra, chairman and managing director of Piaggio Vehicles, said, “Our foray into the Indian market activates a whole new segment of style and fashion-conscious consumers who are looking for a premium lifestyle offering reflecting their personalities and attitudes. We would like to leverage this sizeable untapped market segment that shows tremendous potential for growth in the coming years.”
Piaggio India has set up a modern manufacturing plant at Baramati for production of the Vespa. The plant has an initial capacity of 1,50,000 units. The company plans to launch the 125cc scooter in March, 2012, in five colours, and will initially make it available in 35 key cities.
While the Vespa brand will have 50 dealerships in India by end-2012, there will also five superbike dealerships by the end of the year. Piaggio might also consider introducing the Moto Guzzi 1200 Norge GT as a CBU in the coming months depending on the response the product gets at the Expo.
Piaggio currently has four two-wheelers available as CBUs at its Pune showroom - the Aprilia RSV4, Tuono, Mana, and Dorsoduro.
Issue: 184 | Autocar India: December 2014
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