As consumer demand returns to the Indian two-wheeler market, there is also a growing outreach for premium products.
In a recent interaction with Autocar Professional, Diego Graffi, MD and CEO, Piaggio Vehicles, said that the company is “starting with a completely new product portfolio for two-wheelers because we see more demand and interest for products between 150cc and 300cc in India. Our plan is to make a motorcycle in India and make it suitable not only for the Indian market but also for the global market. But this will definitely take some time – a brand-new motorcycle by 2022-23.”
While Graffi didn’t share a more precise deadline, he doesn’t see any reason to be in a hurry. “Yes, it is true that the market (300-500cc) is growing and it will continue to grow very fast, but we want to be ready with the right products in that category. We want to be there with something which is not there in the market currently and want to bring the right product.”
Piaggio expands its dealer network
At present, Piaggio manufactures scooters in India under its popular Vespa and Aprilia brands, while in the motorcycle segment it is dependent on CBU offerings. However, a smaller footprint in terms of sales network also has somewhat affected the two brands’ reach. Now, the company, which recently launched the Aprilia SXR 160, aims to grow its dealerships too.
“We have 250 dealerships. All dealerships are 3S and are of the Motoplex model. We don’t use a secondary network. Our target is to reach as close as 350 dealerships in 2021. It is a very challenging target but we will try to reach as close as 350 dealerships,” said Graffi.
In November 2020, Piaggio sold a total of 5,798 units, up 15 percent year on year. Cumulative April-November 2020 sales are 31,067 units, down 36 percent YoY. The company currently has a 0.32 percent share of the two-wheeler market.
Aprilia RS 150 and Tuono150 shelved