Companies

Iconic Vespa back on Indian roads

Sneha Padiyath Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Mr Ravi Chopra, CMD, Piaggo Vehicles Pvt Ltd, launching the iconic Vespa scooter in Mumbai on Thursday. Photo: Paul Noronha

It's time for yet another blast from the past and this time in the gearless scooter segment. The iconic Vespa is back in India after a decade-long hiatus.



One of the most popular scooters in the world, the Vespa has re-entered the Indian market albeit as a premium scooter, and opening a new segment.



“India is the second largest two-wheeler market in the world. Within this, the fastest growing is the scooter segment. There is an untapped market for premium scooters,” said Mr Ravi Chopra, Chairman and Managing Director, Piaggio Vehicles (India).



At Rs 66,661 (ex-showroom Maharashtra), the Vespa LX 125 is priced at 40-50 per cent premium over its competitors, including the Honda Activa, the Suzuki Access and the Mahindra Duro.



In its earlier avatar, the Vespa was a product of the LML-Piaggio joint venture and was a popular geared scooter. With the break-up of the joint venture in 1999, Piaggio exited India. The Vespa is back under the Indian subsidiary of the Italian Piaggio group, Piaggio Vehicles.



In 2011, Piaggio sold 1.50 lakh units of Vespa globally. The Italian auto-maker hopes to double the sales to 300,000 units annually in the next two-three years through the Vepsa LX 125 launch in India.



“The launch of the Vespa in India also marks the world-wide debut of the new generation global engine. This has been specially developed for the Indian market,” said Mr. Chopra.



The company has invested about €30 million (approximately Rs 210 crore) in a plant in Baramati, Gujarat, with a capacity of about 1.50 lakh units.



>sneha.p@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 26, 2012

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