The old-world scooter to re-enter India in 2012

Piaggio is planning to re-launch the Vespa scooter in the Indian market. The chairman of the board of directors of Piaggio & C. SpA, the Italian scooter manufacturer has approved a business plan for the setting up of a new factory in India and the launch of a Vespa LX 125 model specially developed for India in 2012.

The new facility will have annual capacity of 150,000 units per year and will entail an estimated investment of Euro 30 million in the financial years 2010-2011. The company aims to earn revenues of approximately euro 70 million in 2015 when investment payback is projected on sales of approximately 110,000 scooters.

India's two-wheeler market — the world's second-largest — grew at an average annual rate of 7 per cent between 2004 and 2009, with 8.4 million vehicles sold in 2009.

Of the total, the scooter segment accounted for 15 per cent of the total market, with sales totalling 1.3million units in 2009 and estimated average annual growth of more than 13per cent.

Vespa's association with India goes back to the 1950s when it had a joint venture with the Firodias. The company has had a chequered history in India with a JV with the LML ending in a dispute in 1999.

At its Baramati plant, Piaggio Vehicles Private Ltd. is also completing industrialisation of the new 1.0-litre and 1.2 litre diesel and turbodiesel engines intended for the new Piaggio commercial vehicles to be marketed in the European and Asian markets.