The Italian company Piaggio is all set to roll out the Vespa scooters in 2012. Of course, the scooters mostly likely will be in all-new avatar.
The Vespa scooters were once India's much-desired two-wheelers especially being youngsters' choice those days. They have actually given a changed face to the scooters in India and people who hated Bajaj scooter had another choice in the Vespas.
Considering the India's very big scooter market (actually second largest market in the world), Piaggio has thought to re-enter back to India. However, currently the Indian power-scooter market is dominated by Honda scooters followed by TVS. Suzuki and Mahindra too happen to be decent players in the scooter market. Piaggio must have calculated the competition and still wants to peg into it and take on the biggies Honda and TVS with its new models
Now many will be delighted by this news that they will have another brand of scooter to choose from, and that too a known name (their dads must have used one), coming after some gap fully re-invented.
The interesting thing is that Piaggio this time around will be entering into the Indian two-wheeler segment with no one's support, and there are reports that the company will invest over 30 million euros in a span of two years (2010 and 2011) and start a plant with a production capacity of more than one lakh scooters.
The company already has gotten a big name in India as one of the leading makers of commercial luggage carrying three-wheelers. Piaggio three wheelers are sold over 180,000 units during 2009.
Earlier Vespa's days in India...
Piaggio entered the Indian two-wheeler market way back in 1960's by joining hands with Bajaj Auto but it seemed a short-lived dream, as per India's privatisation initiative the license was cancelled in 1971 and as a result there was a split between and LML. But Piaggio could not let the dream unfulfilled and they returned after ten years and this time to tie up with Bajaj Auto's competitor LML. The Vespa line of scooters were engineered to near perfection with great engines and fuel efficient vehicles that soon became the darling of the Indian middle class household. The Vespa scooter was no doubt a big hit but this was again short-lived success because of the differences between the partners LML acquired Piaggio's stake in the year 1999 and so the collaboration had a sour ending.
Will Vespa's return do any good the scooter scene in India?
The news is that the Italian scooter-maker has huge plans to make it a great success in the Indian market. But one might think will it really make a difference when Bajaj Auto a big name in the Indian two-wheeler market had bid adieu to the scooters? Only time can tell how the new Vespa will perform in India.
The company is planning to roll out a 125cc Vespa LX that is capable of generating power of 10bhp with the same amount of torque, which is likely to touch the Indian roads sometime in 2012. Not only the scooter is expected to be a solid vehicle even in terms of design and features Vespa is planning to make a huge impact. As of now Honda line of scooters are ruling the Indian markets with 50% foothold and among two-wheelers, scooters have a mere 15% stake in the market. With such a ratio will Vespa survive?
This is the ultimate question but by 2012 if people are in the 'we need a change mode' then you never know, we might well welcome this fresh change. So, let us wait and watch.
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