Piaggio Vehicles (PVPL) has announced an aggressive retail price for its first Aprilia-branded scooter – SR 150 – which was unveiled at the 2016 Auto Expo in Greater Noida in February. The company plans to roll out the 150cc Aprilia SR 150 next month with a price tag of Rs 65,000, almost at par with the 125cc Honda Activa 125 Deluxe variant. The top-end Activa 125 Deluxe variant, which comes with a disc brake and alloy wheels along with a combi-brake system, is currently price in the area of Rs 65,000 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).
While the SR 150 will mark the entry of Aprilia-branded scooters in India, it will become Piaggio’s second global two-wheeler brand that will cater to the booming domestic scooter market. The pricing of the Aprilia SR 150 may be introductory, but it clarifies Piaggio’s intent of serious competition with its rivals. The company has been catering to the upper or premium end of the scooter market since the Vespa’s commercial launch in 2012. It currently sells the Vespa range of premium scooters, which are powered by 125cc and 150cc single-cylinder engines.
It can be recalled that in February 2016, our sister publication Autocar Professional had broken the story on Piaggio’s plan to share the locally manufactured 150cc scooter engine between the existing Vespa models (SXL 150, VXL 150) and the upcoming Aprilia SR 150. The company had launched the Vespa SXL 150 and VXL 150 in September last year in the price range of Rs 85,000-Rs 90,000 (ex-showroom). “Yes, the engine (150cc, 11.5bhp, single cylinder) is the same one that goes into the Vespa 150s but it is tuned differently. The transmission is also tuned differently. It shares a lot with the Vespa models,” Stefano Pelle, managing director and CEO, PVPL, had told Autocar Professional on the sidelines of the Auto Expo four months ago. Pelle had also hinted at a competitive pricing for the Aprilia SR 150. According to a company note, the Aprilia SR 150 combines the feel of a sbike with the ease and utility of a scooter, making it a crossover vehicle.
The model will be manufactured at the company’s Baramati plant, where other Vespa models are also produced. “After the success of the Ape and the positioning of the Vespa in the premium segment of the Indian market, we are further strengthening our offering in the subcontinent with the entry of Aprilia’s SR 150 scooter. This vehicle is an excellent expression of the Noale manufacturer’s sport expertise and offers technology and style superior to those of its direct competitors in the segment,” said Piaggio Group Chairman and CEO, Roberto Colaninno. Adding to this, Pelle stated, “We have received a favourable response to all our launches in the country and with the launch of the Aprilia SR 150, we aim to increase our footprint across the country. The design aesthetics of the SR 150 reflect the sporty character of the Aprilia brand with a lightweight engine which creates a new category in India’s the scooter segment.” The company plans to commence bookings for the Aprilia SR 150 across its network soon.
Piaggio Vehicles, which had close to 80 dealerships and one MotoPlex store (in Pune) until February 2016, now has more than 100 dealerships and four MotoPlex stores across the country. It would be interesting to see how the incoming Aprilia SR 150 will fare not only against its rivals but also in the presence of its pricier Vespa siblings. The Vespa brand recorded total sales of 7,107 scooters during Q1 (FY2016-17), growing by 4.65 percent YoY. Piaggio had sold 6,791 units in Q1 FY2015-16. Interestingly, Vespa’s 150cc scooter models garnered sales of 2,247 units during Q1 this fiscal, averaging more than 730 units per month.