Piaggio India which has created a niche for itself in the low-volume premium automatic scooter segment with its Vespa and Aprilia brands has decided to increase the prices across the range ahead of the festive season.
Vespa’s sales in India have been nothing to write home about but the other Italian brand has firmly established itself in the 125 cc automatic scooter segment with its SR 125 and Storm 125 offerings.
Price hike of the Vespa portfolio ranges between INR 1,034 and 2,742 while the Aprilia scooters get dearer by up to INR 1,674 with the recently introduced Storm 125 getting the largest hike. In a bid to boost sales during this festive season, Vespa has kick started offers with benefits of up to INR 10,000 across its range. The offer package includes free first year insurance of up to INR 4,000, Paytm cashback of INR 6,000, free labor charge for a year, free 5 year warranty and free road-side assistance.
Both the Italian brands retail 125 and 150 cc automatic scooters in India in different flavors. The retro classic Vespa’s and sporty Aprilia’s appeal to entirely different audience bases without overlaps. The two wheelers are being manufactured Piaggio India’s Baramati plant in Maharashtra.
The 125 cc sub-segment of the scooter space has been slowly and steadily moving northwards, primarily due to small base but also because a good number of urban dwellers are opting for more powerful runabouts.
This trend has been especially favorable for Aprilia since it has an excellent brand image owing to the superbikes. The Aprilia SR range of scooters with their snazzy color themes, unique styling, large wheels and long list of equipment certainly stand apart from the crowd of 125 cc offerings from mass market brands.
Given that both Vespa and Aprilia have been operating in a very specific and relatively small territory of the vast Indian two wheeler space, the negative impact of ongoing slowdown would not be as big as it is for mainstream players. That said, the upcoming BS-VI emission norms would jack the prices up further and that would be a sizable challenge.
Buoyed by the success in automatic scooter segment, Aprilia has been planning to introduce compact displacement sportsbikes in India but the plan seems to be taking more time than initially expected since the company wants to get it right in the first attempt.