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|8th July 2013, 16:08||#1|
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Piaggio India to launch another 125cc scooter by year-end
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Piaggio India launched its second offering for the Indian automatic scooter market last week in the form of the Vespa VX125 model. The VX125, which sits above the LX125 as an automatic scooter that offers more kit, is a continuum of Piaggio India's strategy of focusing on the lifestyle segment of the Indian scooter market. While sales in the lifestyle scooter segment of India haven't been anything to write home about (Piaggio India sold just about 52,000 Vespa LX125s in one year despite a price cut), the Italian automaker has no plans of taking the mass market route anytime soon.
Note: The sporty Vespa 946 has been used for illustrative purposes.
In the Indian scooter segment, big volumes come from the mass market space populated by the likes of the Honda Activa and the TVS Wego. For instance, the best selling Honda Activa's monthly sales, in many cases exceeds the Vespa LX125's yearly sales. However, Piaggio's strategy of focusing on the lifestyle segment could yield higher dividends in the long term, when the Indian scooter buyer advances from the commuter segment and buys lifestyle scooters.
AutoCarPro reports that Piaggio's next automatic scooter for India will also be a 125cc model with the 3 valve-125cc four stroke motor being carried over to the new model. This engine outputs 10 Bhp-10.6 Nm, and is mated to a CVT automatic transmission. With a end-2013 launch time frame likely, the new 125cc scooter could also use the same monocoque frame as that of the Vespa LX125 and VX125 models.
Notably, this all-steel monocoque frame is a class leading aspect of the Vespa models, endowing the scooters with a solid build quality, a facet that's usually missing on many scooter models sold in India, many of which are amalgams of metal or fiber panels that develop rattles over time. However, this differentiating factor hasn't been enough to assure Piaggio of success in the Indian scooter market as the Indian buyer is known to be on the perennial lookout for a combination of quality and value. And, the Vespa scooters aren't perceived to offer high value, positioned as they are in the lifestyle segment.
Although the new 125cc Piaggio will share its monocoque frame with the current range of Vespas sold in India, the scooter will feature a key change in terms of styling. This is said to be the major differentiating factor of the scooter, which is touted to be a sporty offering. Pricing of the new 125cc scooter offering from Piaggio could toe the premium path as has been the case with the Vespa offerings from the Italian brand.
Last edited by JayPrashanth : 8th July 2013 at 16:15. Reason: News Link Added
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