Piaggio Vehicles is set to launch a few more scooters in the Indian market to enhance its positioning as a maker of premium scooters. The first among them could be the Vespa 946 which it showcased at the Auto Expo last month. The 946, which is currently undergoing homologation tests, may be launched by June this year. Its objective will be to further consolidate the Vespa brand as a leader in premium scooters.
"It (946) is a scooter that an owner would like to park in his living room," says Ravi Chopra, chairman and MD, Piaggio Vehicles, India. The handcrafted 946 will be brought in through the CBU (Completely Built Unit) route, and hence it may cost around Rs 8 lakh (including all taxes).
In addition to the 946, Piaggio could introduce more scooters in India, outside of the Vespa brand. "We are conducting market research to find out what could be our bandwidth and how it will be expanded year by year," says Chopra. He says that over the next three-six months, it will be clear what steps Piaggio will take for its next phase of growth. The company’s market research also includes conducting feasibility studies for scooters with big wheels measuring 14-inches or more. The Piaggio Liberty is one such scooter. Chopra says all Piaggio branded scooters that could be launched in India will be positioned as premium products, even though they may not be as premium as the Vespa-branded ones. The Vespa line-up in India saw its most premium product in the Vespa S, launched with a price tag of Rs 74,414 (ex-showroom, Pune).
Starting March 10, the company will launch a "very intensive and comprehensive" marketing approach to further build the Vespa brand in India. Since its launch two years ago, the brand with two products (LX and VX) has seen sales of 70,000 units in the country.
Piaggio, which showcased its NT3 four-wheeler concept at the Auto Expo last month, may enter the quadricycle market in India if it sees business sense in doing so. "We can make a quadricycle anytime," says Chopra. However, he does not mind if he’s behind Bajaj Auto in being the first mover in that segment.