Italian motorbike manufacturer, Piaggo, who handles Aprilia dealers and other brands, has plans to expand its sales network in India to over 350 dealerships by the end of 2019, as part of their plans to scale up the business in the country.
The plans were revealed by a top company official, who also stated that the company will still be sticking to its premium styling and operations that have made the company popular, even as it works to expand operations in India, the world’s largest motorcycle market, as it doesn’t want to be seen as a mass market brand.
According to Piaggo Vehicles India Managing Director & CEO Diego Graffi, the company plans to expand company operates across the markets, both domestic and exported. He says that currently, the company’s sales network’srather undeveloped in India, due to the fact that they’re one of the later arrivals on the market. There’s a huge area in India, he admits, where they aren’t present in terms of sales network, and adding that it’s only been 6 years since the company re-entered the Indian market.
Graffi says that by expanding their sales network, they intend on expanding their presence; to that end, he says that the company plans to have 350 active dealerships before 2020 rolls in. When he was asked on whether or not Piaggo would compete with mass market players in India, Graffi says that, wherever they operate in the two-wheeler space, they do not want to be seen as a mass market competitor.
He explained that there’s no interest in the mass segment, as Piaggo is one of the biggest companies with regards to brand recall, and that’s what they’re focusing at. The company, which handles Vespa and Aprilia dealers in India, managed to sell 74,704 productsin the country from 2017-18. They also have a manufacturing plant in Baramati in Maharashtra, where the iconic Vespa and the Aprilia SR 150 is manufactured.
The official says that there’s a lot of challenges when it comes to dealing with two-wheelers, like mandatory third-party insurance, mandatory usage of ABS, and the BS-VI challenge, among others. He says that these challenges, however, will help the industry improve in order to provide better service, content and safety to customers.