Piaggio Vehicles (India – PVPL), a 100 percent subsidiary of Piaggio & C. SpA of Italy, plans to further build on its Vespa as a premium scooter brand by bringing the 300GTS and 946 models as completely built units (CBUs) from its global product basket.
The Vespa 300GTS and Vespa 946 premium scooters are expected to come to select Vespa and the Motoplex store(s) in Q2 CY2016. It is clear that while the upcoming CBU Vespa models will become the most expensive scooters in India, the company looks at demonstrating its prowess in design and technology through its global products.
Talking to Autocar Professional recently, Stefano Pelle, chief executive officer, Piaggio Vehicles India (pictured below, confirmed the same: “Yes, we are looking at bringing the Vespa limited editions. We plan to bring the Vespa 300GTS and the Vespa 946, which will come as CBUs. They will come by the second quarter of the ongoing calendar year.”
The Vespa 300GTS is powered by a liquid-cooled, 278cc engine, which can develop maximum power of 15.8kw and a peak torque of 23Nm. The Vespa 946, on the other hand, is a limited edition that runs on a 125cc engine (maximum power output: 8.4kw)
The company had displayed the two models at the 2016 Auto Expo in Greater Noida last month. Piaggio is expanding its two-wheeler retail presence across the country with a special focus on the southern and western markets. As a result of this strategy, it plans to open three new Motoplex stores in Cochin, Chennai and Hyderabad by June 2016, and beef up its retail presence by up to 110 outlets by end of 2016.
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“My priority for 2016 is setting up the distribution network and launching the Aprilia scooter (SR 150). I would say that it would go hand-in-hand. To launch this scooter on the road, we have to increase our distribution. Vespa, on the other hand, continues to be our main brand, so that remains our priority. As of today our network is around 80 dealers (concentrated towards the southern and western markets). We have looking at having up to 40 percent more dealerships (32) by end 2016,” clarified Pelle, who is working towards building Piaggio’s two wheeler brands in India.
The company is expected to roll out the first batch of Aprilia SR 150 production scooters at Baramati in March. Piaggio has planned the commercial launch of this all-new scooter under the Aprilia brand in August 2016.
Moto Guzzi’s all-new V9 cruisers coming too
Also showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo were the Moto Guzzi V9 cruisers – which are yet to see their global launch – as production-ready models. Moto Guzzi is known to have developed the twin-cylinder, 853cc V9 cruisers to catch up with the rising demand for robust-looking yet easy-to-handle, lightweight cruisers across many global markets.
The V9s could be understood as Moto Guzzi’s second family of motorcycles that caters to the rising demand for midsize models worldwide. The brand already sells multiple variants with the V7 family, which is powered by twin-cylinder, 744cc engine. The V7 is the largest selling family of motorcycles for Mot Guzzi globally.
The V9 models – Bobber and Roamer – are expected to come to India as CBU units later this year as well.
Confirming the same, Pelle said: “Yes, they will also be brought to India as CBUs, most likely within this year. The Moto Guzzi V9 cruisers are not launched yet. Their global launch is scheduled within a few months’ time. The Moto Guzzi V9 is an all-new line up of motorcycles that are cruisers with light, nimble handling. They will be powered by the 850cc powertrain, which is considered to be a medium size engine. The V9 motorcycles will be positioned below the bigger Moto Guzzi models such as the California.”
In an exclusive conversation with Autocar Professional, Marco Lambri, senior vice-president, design centre, two-wheeler product development, Piaggio & C SpA, spoke about the design philosophy of the Moto Guzzi V9 cruisers.
Lambri, who is based in Pontedera, Italy, explained that “Moto Guzzi is known for bikes ranging from the V7 to the 1400cc California. The V9 is positioned in the middle. The styling philosophy tries to preserve the bike’s simplicity. This also gives the customers an option of customising their V9s as per their requirements. We are offering a huge range of accessories that can be used to further customise these bikes. If you look at the V9, you will see a saddle, a fuel tank and a mudguard. It is very minimal. It is an easy-to-handle bike but with a distinctive and great personality. The V9 Roamer is built for those who are looking at light cruiser segment. The V9 Bobber will address younger customers than the Roamer.”