Wheels Within Wheels
India’s infant scooter industry is pitched against the bigleague giants in the world market. It is up against companies like Honda of Japan, which makes some of the world’s best motorcycles, and Piaggio of Italy which makes the famous Vespa scooter.
Bajaj, the largest manufacturers of scooters in the country, which has sold most of its two- wheel and three- wheel scooters abroad, is now collaborating with firms in Indonesia and Taiwan for making scooters. Bajaj went into the scooter business 16 years ago, establishing a factory near Pune with Piaggio’s help. Now, Bajaj and Piaggio are fighting for a share of the world demand for two- wheelers.
Even Scooters India Limited, a public sector company which bought the Italian company Innocenti’s used plant and machinery and set up a factory near Lucknow’s Amausi airport, has begun exporting within two years of making the first scooter.
Scooter India’s exports are modest. It sold 50 scooters at 400 dollars apiece to the United Kingdom last year and has received a repeat order. A few scooters have been sold in Singapore and Colombia in South America.
PITCHING AGAINSTTHE BIG LEAGUE