For an automatic scooter costing about INR 80,000 in Bangalore, the prospective buyer expects the scooter to feature a disc brake up front, especially in a scooter that is positioned as a lifestyle product. Piaggio India conveniently chose to ignore the disc brake in the Vespa LX125, while pricing the scooter in lifestyle territory. The result: tepid sales of 25,000 units in over 8 months of the ravishing looking automatic scooter’s launch. Seeking to get its act together, Piaggio India plans to launch two new variants of the Vespa LX125 in the coming months.
One such variant will be the disc brake equipped model while the other new variant is said to be a sporty version of the Vespa LX125. We’re not sure of what exactly Piaggio India mean when they say “sporty”, but we’re hinging on exciting new paint jobs and sticker schemes to be Piaggio’s idea of sporty. Piaggio India is looking to quadruple more than double sales in 2013. The automatic scooter is targeting volumes of 90,000 to 95,000 units in 2013, and of course these many scooters sold by Piaggio might not involve the Vespa LX125 alone. For the record, Piaggio’s factory has a capacity to produce 150,000 scooters a year.
At best, expect the Vespa LX125’s sales to improve by 30%, with the recent price drop. Given that the disc brake equipped version of the Vespa LX125 could cost more than the drum brake equipped model, we don’t foresee a big sales boost due to the new variant. So, where will the additional volumes come from? It will, from the brand new automatic scooter that Piaggio India plans to launch in the mass market segment. Shorn of the lifestyle moniker, Piaggio India’s second automatic scooter for India is expected to jostle strictly with the Activas and the Wegos of this world.
Pricing of the new Piaggio automatic scooter too, will reflect the lower positioning. While there have been some rumors about the Fly 125 being launched in India, as a big volume automatic scooter for Piaggio, the company is playing its card close to the chest. However, it would be safe to expect that the upcoming mass market automatic scooter from Piaggio India would feature an engine with a capacity ranging between 110cc to 125cc. Expect the new Piaggio scooter to be priced a good ten thousand rupees lower than the Vespa LX125. The Vespa brand meanwhile, will continue to host premium automatic scooters.