Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. – the wholly owned Indian subsidiary of the Italian Piaggio Group, has inaugurated its latest generation state-of-the-art facility for the manufacture of the world famous iconic Vespa.
Piaggio has chosen the state of Maharashtra and in particular Baramati for making its major investments. As of December 2011 over Rs 10 billion have already been invested by the Indian subsidiary of Piaggio. Today, Piaggio has built a world class, latest generation facility to manufacture the Vespa scooters.
The initial production capacity is 150,000 units per year. The Piaggio Group is confident of a very strong market response to the Vespa and hence, has already initiated steps to double the capacity by mid-2013.
The plant inauguration ceremony was attended by Mr. Sharad Pawar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Cooperation, Mr. Praful Patel, Union Minister for Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises, Mr. Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra and Mrs. Supriya Sule, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha; Mr Roberto Colaninno, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, was present at this historic moment along with the Piaggio top management team.
Speaking at the event, Mr Colaninno said: “It is a historic and proud moment for the Piaggio Group that lays the foundation for us to be a formidable automotive force in India. The investment in Baramati is part of our strategic plan, which sees India as a significant destination in our growth trajectory.”
He further added, “The parent company has transferred the latest generation product, process and manufacturing technology to the Indian Vespa plant. The Indian supervisory and managerial staff has extensively worked with their counterparts in Italy to ensure that the standards of quality and reliability are maintained and productivity is enhanced.”
For Mr Ravi Chopra, Chairman and Managing Director, Piaggio Vehicles Private Limited (India), and his team, it was indeed a very gratifying moment. The integrated vehicle and engine plant has been completed in record time of 12 months from concept to commissioning and start of production. Beaming with joy he said, “Today is a historical moment for us as Piaggio begins a new chapter of growth in India. The world recognized iconic Vespa will now be produced in Baramati”. He was happy to state further, that “the operations started with a 100% localisation of components. This was in tune with the Piaggio strategy.”
In 1999 Piaggio had set up a major facility for the production of 3 and 4 wheeled commercial vehicles and since then has continually expanded its production capacity from 20 vehicles per day to a current capacity of 1000 vehicles per day.
Subsequently, Piaggio set up a state-of-the-art facility to manufacture technologically advanced, fuel efficient and eco-friendly combustion engines. And now, it has created a world class manufacturing facility to produce the legendary Vespa.
With a strengthened presence in Baramati, Piaggio is continuously creating jobs and employment opportunities. Today it directly employs over 3000 people and a large number indirectly to support the operations. Additional employment opportunities will progressively emerge as the two wheeler operations ramp up.
Having created history in the 3 wheeler business, Piaggio India is now poised to repeat history with the Vespa in the two wheeler scooter space.