Italian two-wheeler maker Piaggio on Wednesday said it is considering launching ‘bigger’ scooters in the Indian market that will be less premium than its existing Vespa portfolio. While plans are still to materialise, the new scooters will have a separate branding than Vespa.
“Piaggio has a very strong product portfolio. We are conducting an extensive market research to establish whether there could be a market for a big-wheel scooter, which could be a 300-400 cc scooter and it will be a revolutionary concept,” Piaggio Vehicles CMD Ravi Chopra said.
Unlike Vespa, which was re-launched in India two years ago and is positioned as a premium product, the new scooters will cater to a more consumer set. The company is simultaneously looking at scaling up Vespa’s presence and product portfolio in the country.
In the pipeline are plans to launch super premium scooter Vespa 946 in three months time, priced in the Rs 8-9 lakh range. Vespa 946 will be completely built unit and will join the other three premium scooters including the Vespa S, launched on Wednesday at Rs 76,496 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).
“Our mission was to create a premium space for scooters, which to an extent we have successfully managed to do. India offers a large opportunity and we are yet to leverage its full potential here. So far, we have done 80,000 scooters since the launch. Our hope is to do better in 2014, and with more products we’d add incremental volumes each year,” said Chopra.
Piaggio sold 2,001 scooters in January 2014, a decline of 50% on a year-on-year basis, while its sales in April-Jan 2014 were down 6% to 27,808 scooters on a year-on-year basis.
The overall scooter segment, however, has been seeing tremendous growth during the said period. In April-January 2014 period the segment grew 21% to 29.3 lakh scooters on a year-on-year basis. In January 2014, scooter sales was up 28% to 3.2 lakh scooters on a year-on-year basis.
Piaggio currently has just about 1% market share in the domestic market. In January 2013, the company cut scooter prices by R10,000, which it recalled two months later. The company cites the move as marketing error.