Piaggio Vespa scooter plant gets roaring in Baramati with Mr Pawar’s blessings: Specs, features and photos

Piaggio Vespa scooter plant gets roaring in Baramati with Mr Pawar’s blessings: Specs, features and photos

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Earlier today in Baramati, Piaggio inaugurated their brand new Vespa scooter manufacturing plant with an initial capacity to manufacture 150,000 scooters annually. Piaggio aims to double output by same time next year. Earlier this week, Piaggio launched Vespa LX125 scooter in India with an ex-showroom price tag of Rs 66,000.

Piaggio’s Vespa plant inauguration ceremony was attended by some of the biggest politicians in India. Mr Sharad Pawar, President NCP & Union Minister for Agriculture and Cooperation, Govt. of India, who also hails from Baramati, was present as the Chief Guest. Other politicians include, Mr Praful Patel, Union Minister for Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises, Govt. of India; Mrs Supriya Sule, Member of Parliament and daughter of Mr Pawar.

Apart from politicians and officials from Piaggio, Mr Colaninno, CEO & Chairman, Piaggio Group too was present at the inauguration. At the ceremony, Mr Colaninno said, “It is a historic and proud moment for the Piaggio Group that lays the foundation for us to be a formidable automotive force in India. The investment in Baramati is part of our strategic plan, which sees India as a significant destination in our growth trajectory. The parent company has transferred the latest generation product, process and manufacturing technology to the Indian Vespa plant. The Indian supervisory and managerial staff has extensively worked with their counterparts in Italy to ensure that the standards of quality and reliability are maintained and productivity is enhanced.”

Mr Pawar said, “I am very happy with Piaggio’s investments in Baramati. I am happy with everything Piaggio does in India. However, there is one lacuna that needs to be filled.” Now addressing to Mr Ravi Chopra, MD & Chairman, Piaggio India, Mr Pawar continued, “I would request you to give more jobs to the locals (in Baramati).”

Later, Mr Chopra said, “Majority of our blue collar employees are from in and around Baramati. The white collar employees form a very small part. The company recently hired 20 women engineers from an engineering institute in Baramati who will work in the plant here that will produce the iconic Vespa. Mr Pawar will be happy to hear that. I will tell him personally about these 20 engineers when I will meet him next.”

History

Piaggio, the Italian two wheeler manufacturer, first launched Vespa in 1946 as a single model. Later in the 60’s, Piaggio associated itself with Bajaj Auto and entered Indian auto industry. In 1971, Piaggio had to leave India as they were not able to renew their license. In 1983, Piaggio entered India once again by associating itself with LML, but this partnership too ceased in 1999. This time, Piaggio, which is now currently the fourth largest two wheeler manufacturer in the world, has entered India without a local partner. Piaggio announced their re-entry into the Indian scooter market after a gap of 13 years with the launch of Vespa LX125 scooter.

Vespa LX125

Powered by a four stroke, three valve, single cylinder, air cooled, 125cc petrol engine with CVT Transmission generating 10.06 PS and 10.6 Nm; the new Vespa LX125 scooter from Piaggio comes with a steep price tag of Rs 66,000. Fuel tank has a capacity to store 8 liters of fuel. Apart from the retro style, Piaggio claims that the new Vespa scooter offers a mileage of 60 kmpl. If that is true, then Vespa LX125 is the most efficient two wheeler in its segment.

According to Mr Sandeep Thokal, who has been riding a Bajaj scooter for the past 22 years, “Rs 70000 for old look, no telescopic suspension, no disk brake and lack of reliability?  What will disc brake model cost can’t imagine? By projecting Vespa as a premium lifestyle scooter, they cannot fool us. (Honda) Activa, (Suzuki) Access, (Suzuki) Swish, (Honda) Aviator are not that bad either…”

Vespa scooter color options include 6 vibrant colors:

Vespa LX125 Scooter Specifications


Competition

Piaggio enter Indian auto industry at a time when two wheeler sales are increasing exponentially. It will be interesting to see how Piaggio manages to grab a share from the current segment leaders – Bajaj, Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motors. Piaggio will have a network of 50 dealers in India which will be spread across 35 cities.

According to their official website – www.vespaindia.com, as of now Piaggio Vespa have dealers in the following Indian States:

Andhra Pradesh – Hyderabad (2), Secunderabad and Vijaywada
Chhatisgarh – Raipur
Delhi – Delhi, Delhi East
Gujarat – Ahmedabad (2), Vadodra, Gandhinagar, Surat and Vapi
Karnataka – Bengaluru (4)
Kerala – Kochi and Trivandrum
Maharashtra – Mumbai (2), Nagpur, Nashik, Pune (2) and Thane
Punjab – Amritsar, Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Ludhiana
Rajasthan – Jaipur
Tamil Nadu – Chennai (2) and Madurai
Uttar Pradesh – Noida

Figures in bracket denotes the number of dealerships in that city.

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