Piaggio, which created a premium segment in the two-wheelers' segment by launching Vespa almost two years, said the company would continue to offer premium priced two-wheelers as it looks to expand its product portfolio in scooter and motorcycle categories.
The premium-priced Vespa, when launched in April 2012 did not receive a very encouraging response as price-conscious customers stayed away from buying the vehicle. The company sold 38,718 units of Vespas in fiscal 2013, while it slashed prices by almost Rs 7,000 in January last year. Despite this, company's sales for 10 months of the current financial year (April-January of this fiscal) saw a decline of 6.2% compared with the same period last year, according to the data by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
The company is now in the process of launching a number of scooters and premium bikes in the next couple of years. At the recent Auto Expo, the company showcased a range of superbikes, motorcycles and scooters.
As part of the immediate plan, the company is looking to expand the Vespa range by launching Vespa S in the next few weeks. "We want to expand our offerings in the Indian market. Vespa S is more masculine and boyish," said Ravi Chopra, CMD, Piaggio Vehicles.
The company also showcased two more scooters, Vespa 946 and Liberty from Piaggio's own stable. "We are waiting to get homologation clearance for Vespa 946, which will be imported as completely built units," said Chorpa. While Piaggio is still studying the feasibility of introducing its Liberty, which it claims to be one of the most advanced scooters. "It is a large-wheeled scooter and we are yet to take a decision on it," said Chopra.
When asked if the company would ever look at targeting the mass volume segment, Chopra said, "Vespa and Piaggio are not the mass market products. We created a premium category and we will continue with it. We are satisfied with this direction."
Piaggio has built a capacity of 150,000 units annually at its Baramati plant near Pune, which can be ramped up to 3,00,000 units.