Auto Expo 2014: Piaggio could launch Liberty scooter in India

The Piaggio Liberty will fill a niche in the automatic scooter segment that hasn�t been fully exploited in recent years


Piaggio Liberty



Piaggio Vehicles, like most of the two-wheeler industry continues to be bullish on scooters. Something that was obvious at its display at the Auto Expo 2014. And even though Piaggio only mentioned the upcoming launch of the Vespa S and limited editions of the Vespa VX, the manufacturer is also ready to expand beyond Vespa.

According to Ravi Chopra, Chairman and Managing director, Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd, the Piaggio Liberty is being seriously considered for India. He feels the large-wheeled scooter has a lot of potential in a market like India and that the company is currently conducting feasibility study on the Liberty's possible launch.

The Liberty, which is powered by a 125cc engine, runs 14-inch wheels compared to 10-inch wheels found on most other scooters on sale in India. And this fact, alone, says Chopra, should help it find customers here as it makes it more stable and practical compared to the current crop of scooters. When launched, the Liberty is expected to sit below the Vespa range as it is more utilitarian in nature and presence than the lifestyle oriented Vespa range.



Vespa 946



As far as Vespa is concerned, Chopra has outlined two strategies to help build the brand further. Piaggio will launch the Vespa 946 in India this year to showcase what Vespa has and can achieve as a brand when it comes to style, luxury and technology. The 946 which is currently undergoing homologation will come via the CBU route and could cost close to Rs 10 lakh!

Piaggio is also looking at the personalisation segment quite intently. It already has customisation and merchandise options for the Vespa and the Vespa VX, but nothing too elaborate. Chopra feels this line of business will grow and grow to an extent wherein the company might need to start making this stuff here in India than import it from Italy as it does now.


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