India is most likely to be the manufacturing hub for Piaggio’s three-seater micro city car for Europe. The 350-cc 2.4 metre car codenamed NT3 was showcased in 2010 and is likely to be ready for launch by 2015.
The micro car, comfortable for navigating within busy cities, has caught the fancy of European customers. Daimler’s Smart has become quite popular in this segment and Piaggio aims to take away some share of this growing market. Piaggio is planning to manufacture it in low cost locations such as India or Vietnam in order to bring down cost.
“The cost is very important in this segment,” said Gabriele Galli, CFO, Piaggio group. “Ours will be considerably cheaper than Smart.” The company plans petrol, electric and hybrid variants for the micro car.
Piaggio has plans for a 200 cc variant of the same, which may compete with Bajaj’s RE 60, the 200 cc people carrier unveiled at the Delhi AutoExpo 2012. Piaggio has conducted feasibility study in India too.
The Italian vehicle manufacture has put up capacity to make 150,000 units of its popular Vespa brand of scooters in India. The firm on Thursday launched a premium model Vespa LX125 priced at Rs 66,661 (ex-showroom in Maharashtra).