Pi­ag­gio plans to launch more new prod­ucts in In­dia

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The Ital­ian mo­tor ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer, Pi­ag­gio, pro­duces a wide range of twowheel­ers and com­pact com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles un­der Pi­ag­gio, Vespa and Aprilia brands. The Ital­ian man­u­fac­tur­ing firm makes two-wheel­ers that are in the pre­mium seg­ment and their mar­ket has been grow­ing ex­po­nen­tially in In­dia. In an in­ter­ac­tion with Sricha­ran R of Auto Com­po­nentsIn­dia, Ashish Yakhmi, Busi­ness Head, Pi­ag­gio In­dia, spoke on the mar­ket and new launches. The Ex­cerpts:

Q: How is your cur­rent mar­ket in In­dia?

Yakhmi: We are on a big growth path. In the past 12 months both brands, Vespa and Aprilia, have been grow­ing at around 70%. One of the key rea­sons is, the brands are very pow­er­ful and the prod­ucts are world-class. Aprilia is catch­ing up re­ally fast, es­pe­cially among the youth. It is the fastest scooter avail­able in the mar­ket to­day mak­ing it more at­trac­tive for the new gen­er­a­tion. Vespa, though an old brand, the way it is cre­ated ap­peals to the young-gen. In­ter­est­ingly, a lot of rid­ing groups have been formed on their own. Also, our ex­pan­sion on the deal­er­ship net­work front is grow­ing re­ally well. With the sta­teof-the-art plant in Bara­mati, we pro­duce the best prod­ucts not only for the In­dian mar­ket but also for other coun­tries.

Q: What are the new prod­ucts that the com­pany has planned to come up with?

Yakhmi: We in­tro­duced a few prod­ucts at the last auto expo. Aprilia Storm will be launched by early 2019 and we re­cently launched Vespa Notte. Vespa GTS will come in by the end of next year. We also have plans to launch a few other prod­ucts. We will also have of­fer­ings in the 150cc seg­ment as well, and we are fully pre­pared for BS VI.

Q: Many OEMs have started man­u­fac­tur­ing high-pow­ered scoot­ers. How do you see the com­pete­tion?

Yakhmi: We do not have a di­rect com­pe­ti­tion. We are op­er­at­ing in a pre­mium space and we be­lieve in of­fer­ing more value to the cus­tomer. It might be priced at a higher bracket than oth­ers but, our prod­ucts are com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the rest. It is more fo­cused on high qual­ity and is dif­fer­en­ti­ated. To­day, we are not in the com­muter seg­ment and this is the rea­son for us in not hav­ing a di­rect com­pe­ti­tion. The qual­ity re­flects on the pric­ing too.

Q: Any plan to en­ter the com­muter seg­ment?

Yakhmi: We will never launch prod­ucts that are in the com­muter seg­ment or the low-cost seg­ment.

If a qual­ity has to be given it comes with a cer­tain cost. We cre­ate prod­ucts for the value, so the cus­tomer has some­thing in it. For ex­am­ple, the Vespa comes with full metal mono­coque body with 4 coats of paint. You do not get this in any other brand.

Q: How do you view the qual­ity of the In­dian sup­pli­ers?

Yakhmi: Both of these brands are com­pletely in­di­genised. They are 100% made in In­dia and there is noth­ing in­ter­na­tional in terms of com­po­nents. They were all man­u­fac­tured in In­dia with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. This is what helps us pro­duce for other mar­kets also. This shows how qual­ity is in In­dia and we are com­pletely sat­is­fied.

Q: To which coun­tries do you ex­port?

Yakhmi: We ex­port to South Amer­ica, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. A few other tie-ups are com­ing up.

Q: What are your plans for deal­er­ship ex­pan­sion?

Yakhmi: We are ex­pand­ing in a big way across the coun­try. We are get­ting many re­quests ev­ery month to be­come part­ners. As a brand, the deal­er­ship is a good busi­ness model to open and it is ex­pand­ing. This is be­cause the cus­tomer base is grow­ing.

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