Sunday, July 5, 2009

Piaggio to make a come-back with its Iconic Scooters

Scooters, which almost disappeared into the dark alleys of nostalgia, are making a grand comeback. Piaggio Group, which has recently inaugurated its first manufacturing facility in Vietnam, where it will produce 125cc and 150cc Vespa LX scooters, has said that it will also be rolling out scooters in India in due course of time.

Italian auto company Piaggio, manufacturer of the iconic Vespa scooter, is to start production in India as part of plans to expand its operations. Piaggio has roughly 40% of the Indian market share for three wheelers, whereas it lags behind giant Tata Motors (TTM) with a 6% share in four-wheel light commercial vehicles market.

Piaggio Group now operates manufacturing facilities in Italy, Spain, India, China and Vietnam. In India, after calling off its joint venture with the Kanpur-based LML, Piaggio has restricted its operations in the country to light commercial vehicles. However, the Italian group is said to be considering re-launching Vespa scooters in India by 2011-12. The group said it planned to increase its turnover by 20 per cent by 2012.

Piaggio Vehicles Private Ltd. (PVPL)- is headquartered at Pune and has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Baramati, Maharashtra, where three-wheelers are currently being made. Though the company has not announced it officially, industry sources reckon that its proposed scooters would be manufactured in the premises of its existing plant.

Piaggio has already established its numero-uno position in India's 3 wheeler market in cargo as well as passenger segments. Right from the time of its launch in 1999, Piaggio has consistently delivered exceptional standards and commitment to its customers across India. The service orientation of the company has resulted in Piaggio garnering a customer base of over 700,000 satisfied customers across India.

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