Companies

Piaggio offers half-tonne mini truck

Ravi Chopra, Chairman & Managing Director, Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. with the Apé Mini  

Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (PVPL), a leading manufacturer of light transportation vehicles, on Tuesday launched the ape mini, a half-tonne four-wheeler. The new product has been uniformly priced at Rs.1.74 lakh across the country.

The ape mini is a strategic initiative from Piaggio to expand its share in the half tonne market where the company already has a dominant share. The ape mini was two years in the development stages.

The existing product, the ape three-wheeler with a customer base of one million users pioneered the half-tonne cargo segment in India as early as 1999.

Explaining the company's new initiative, PVPL Chairman and Managing Director Ravi Chopra said, “we have consistently gone to the market with our customers in mind. We are confident that the ape mini will outclass others in the half-tonne four-wheeler segment.

“We have a 65 per cent share in the three-wheeler cargo market and over 33 per cent of the three-wheeler passenger market.''

The ape mini offers 29 km a litre and has the largest cargo deck in its category. At 230 mm, the ground clearance of the vehicle is the highest in its class.

The ape mini also has a spacious car-like cabin and boasts a factory fitted co-driver's seat which comes as original equipment with the vehicle.

The vehicle comes with a 15-month warranty and five free services.

Piaggio has a manufacturing plant at Baramati in Maharashtra with an installed capacity of over two lakh three-wheelers and one lakh four-wheelers annually. It is also moving towards self reliance with the completion of its advanced engines plant on the same campus.

It has a 2,100 strong workforce comprising engineers, R&D specialists, plant workers, sales, service and marketing professionals. Mr. Chopra said the company would be introducing the original Vespa two-wheelers in the first quarter of 2012. He said the company produced around 1.80 lakh vehicles in 2009 and in 2010, there could be a 10-15 per cent growth. He said export opportunities were ‘immense'.

“Until recently, we had focused on the domestic market and we did not have a cost effective product for the African continent and for our neighbouring countries. But over the last few months, we have developed a smaller version of three-wheeler for the gas/gasoline market, ape City. We have done some seeding in African countries and have received a positive response. There is a demand for about 1.20 lakh vehicles in the African region and so the opportunities are huge. The opportunities will be exploited from 2011 onwards.''


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 8:58:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/companies/Piaggio-offers-half-tonne-mini-truck/article15777934.ece

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