For those who like retro/classic brands, here is some more good news. The choice for scooters in this space is set to increase as classic Italian brand, Lambretta, is planning a return to India with a prototype debut at the Auto Expo 2020 (February 6-9).
To keep pace with the times, the Lambretta will come in an electric avatar, but expect it to retain the classic design. The company hasn't revealed the specifications of the electric Lambretta but says 'it closely cooperates with a reputed global partner'.
For the India entry, Lambretta has joined hands with Lohia Auto, a two- and three-wheeler manufacturer, and the New Delhi-based Bird Group, which has businesses in the aviation and automotive retail sectors.
The Italian-Swiss multinational also announced the development of a steel-bodied Super Lambretta, specially designed for the Indian market. To be positioned as an 'aspirational model', the Super Lambretta will be bigger and more spacious in size than the existing Lambretta models. According to the company, the model, specially developed for ambitious young people who understand the beauty of Italian design, will claim premium and upscale position in the Indian market and retain the classic and rich look-and-feel that Lambretta is known for.
Plant likely to come up in Maharashtra
Innocenti, Lambretta International's parent company, is looking at setting up an assembly plant in or around Mumbai. According to the company, the plant will provide the Indian market with 'original Lambretta products' and will operate as a production hub for surrounding countries and Africa. Negotiations to freeze the production plans are on.
Innocenti also says that it started invalidity proceedings against several trademark positions of Scooters India, which all were decided in favour of the Italian-Swiss multinational. It is to be noted that Scooters India was formed after the Indian government bought over the factory producing Lambro three-wheelers. They were sold in India under the Vikram brand. The Lambretta scooters were manufactured and sold under licence by Automobile Products of India.
In 2010, Innocenti issued a multi-million dollar claim against Scooters India in relation to, what it claims as the unlawful licensing of the Lambretta trademark in the EU. Most recently, Scooters India withdrew its oppositions against the trademark registrations of Lambretta in India. Currently the lawyers of Innocenti are preparing additional steps against Scooters India and its suppliers against any unlawful use of the trademark Lambretta on Indian territory. All these steps could be to create a clear brand identity and ownership, as the Italian brand prepares for a new innings in India.
The retro wave seems to be growing in multiple sectors. In the automobile space, classic motorcycle brand Royal Enfield is ruling the roost in its space. New entrant Jawa has created quite a big hype. In the scooter segment, Vespa hasn't had much of a success so far. With electric power, Lambretta could script a new success story.
India’s unique role
After the successful launch of the Lambretta V-Special, Lugano, Switzerland based Innocenti, the mother company of Lambretta International, has announced that the global launch of the Lambretta Electric will take place during the Auto Expo in 2020. Innocenti, currently active in 80 countries with a range of products including the iconic two-wheeler, has recognised the unique role India is playing in the global market and understood the demand of the Indian public for original Lambretta products. Innocenti is proud to invite its world customers to Delhi to have them experience the uniqueness and beauty of Indian culture. It further wants to emphasise the important role Italy, the United Kingdom and India have played in the history of Lambretta.
The Lambretta Electric is currently being developed in Milan, Italy, not far from the place where Lambretta was born in 1947. The company has not disclosed the specifications of the electric platform yet, as it wishes to share this during its launch. For the development, it closely cooperates with a reputed global partner ascertaining the superior quality of the electric platform. In India the company has partnered up with Lohia Auto based in Noida and New Delhi headquartered Bird Group.
1962 Lambretta Li 150 and 2018 Aprilia SR 150
New Lambretta scooters unveiled at EICMA
Lambretta V Special image gallery