Vespa to launch scooters in India by 2012

The iconic Vespa, is poised to make another comeback in a new-age avatar, nearly 50 years after it first rolled into the country.

The board of Piaggio & Co has okayed a plan to invest nearly Euro 30 million over two years to establish a 1.5-lakh capacity plant that will produce a model specially developed for India, the world’s second-largest two-wheeler market, the Italian company said in a statement.

“A meeting chaired by Roberto Colaninno (chairman), the board of directors of Piaggio & C. SpA approved the strategic guidelines and industrial plan of a new Piaggio Group initiative in India for the production and sale of two-wheel vehicles, beginning with a Vespa LX 125 model,” the statement said. The first scooters are to roll out by the end of 2012, the company said.

Vespa first entered India in the late 1950s through a joint venture agreement with the Firodias who were then part of the Bajaj group. The Vespa 150 was an immediate success, spawning long waiting periods. The JV was terminated in 1971.

The scooter was back in India again through a joint venture with LML in 1983. That partnership ended in 1999 after a protracted dispute with the companies when LML bought back Piaggio’s stake in the company.

Though Piaggio had revealed plans to relaunch Vespa as early as 2006, the scooter’s third coming is tinged with irony as the Bajajs, its first partner, has announced plans to exit the scooter segment to singularly focus on the motorcycle market.

Piaggio plans to produce up to 1.5 lakh units a year at its new facility in India. The company, which also makes the Apé range of three and four wheelers.

The new factory apart, another one run by Piaggio’s Indian offshoot could also produce Vespas. Piaggio Vehicles India Pvt Ltd, which operates an engine plant for two- and three-wheelers at Baramati in Maharashtra, has the capacity to manufacture Vespa’s.

The Rs 360-crore engine plant has begun to make petrol engines of 125 and 150 cc, with plans to also produce 1 and 1.2 litre diesel engines for Piaggio’s three wheelers.

Piaggio also plans to establish boutique showrooms for selling the scooter to establish the brand.

Source: ET

  • Gangadhar TS

    I am very happy to see this, but there should be some changes in front and seating. There is no family scooter in india. it is very shame full for all automobile companys. we need more scooter models in india to travel with wife and two kids.

  • Chetan Dave

    I also waits for it. Can you sent me more detail of above vehicle on ( ?

  • bahadur Goltekar

    i waiting & ready to buy vespa again, i was fool to sell my old LML Vespa

  • Joe

    I luv vespa, dream of the version vespa to come to north east india along with a dealer near my location. I hope that they will launched very soon, upto date i still have a vespa lml nv 150cc

  • Mukesh Kulshrestha, Mahindra two wheelers

    Its great for me b’se I worked with LML Vespa more than 7 year and taken lot of training from them, its my passion……….

  • @ Mandayam : thanks very much for the info

  • Vespa J-V with BAJAJ was best. Vespa J-V with LML was the worst. Original Vespa is the best. Vespa with LML produced PL 170 in INDIA which was a totally failure vehicle. even now people will curse LML. Produce original VESPA design, people will love buying BAJAJ which should have kick start on right side. All the best .

  • Joy

    Really grat news! I love italic vespa scooters.

  • Shankar Murkumbi

    Vespa was teh best selling scooter in Goa during LML days. Goan people always have pride in possessing niche products. I am sure once launched, Vespa will be again popular in Goan market

  • Raj

    This is great news