Vespa's first gearless scooter to be launched next week

Anuradha Shukla   New Delhi     Last Updated: April 21, 2012  | 09:35 IST

Once a market leader in the scooter segment, Piaggio, the maker of the iconic Vespa, is reentering the Indian market with Vespa 125LX, its first gearless scooter to hit the road next week.

SPECIAL:Scooters make a comeback

The company has already set up a factory in Baramati, Maharastra, with a production capacity of 150,000 units per annum. The reentry of Piaggio has just affirmed the fact that scooters are here to stay. This will stir fresh competition in the scooter segment, which is now dominated by Honda Motorcycles and Scooter India (HMSI).

"There is huge excitement among customers. We have already started receiving queries and expect a good response from customers. We feel the scooter market will have a healthy growth," a senior executive from Piaggio Vehicles India said without divulging any detail about the pricing. According to sources, the price is expected to be around Rs 48,000.

The firm will start delivering scooters in May. According to the executive, the Vespa LX125 is equipped with a 125cc four-stroke engine with a three valve head, peak power of 10 bhp and a peak torque of 10.6 Nm making it the most powerful among its competitors. The company had already unveiled the scooter in the recent Auto Expo here.

Once a symbol of the Indian middle class, many people thought that the era of scooters was over with Vespa closing down and Bajaj Auto deciding to shun its iconic 'Hamara Bajaj' scooters to shift focus on motorcycles. However, companies like Honda, TVS and the Hero Group revived scooters in India which are making a comeback in swanky new looks.

At present, the market is dominated by HMSI, TVS and Hero group. According to latest figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturer, HMSI sold a total of 19,96,320 units of two-wheelers in FY12, out of which scooter sales were at 1,224,599 units, clocking growth of 38 per cent driven by the huge demand for models like Activa, Aviator and Dio. And with the rising popularity and double-digit sales growth, the scooter market is getting more competitive. New The new Vespa 125LX during the 2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi. players like Mahindra and Yamaha are set to enter the market.

"The scooter market in India is huge. We want a huge presence in this segment and we will be launching a scooter in next two years-by end of 2012 or early 2013," Hiroyuki Suzuki, CEO and managing director (India) Yamaha Motor Pvt Ltd, said last year.

Courtesy: Mail Today

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