Piaggio has launched its Vespa brand in India, introducing the iconic scooter to the world’s second-largest two-wheeler market.

When we think of motorcycle in India, we tend to think of low-cost small displacement motorcycles and scooters. That’s beginning to change with the influx of larger displacement models commonly found in other markets. Vespa opens a new premium scooter segment to India with the LX125.

Priced at 66,661 rupees (US$1270), the Vespa LX125 is the most affordable Vespa in the world (by comparison, Vespa USA prices the LX 50 at $3,399 while the LX150 is priced at $4,599). but still represents a 40% premium over the average scooter in India. Despite the premium price, Indian consumers are willing to pay more for the Vespa brand.

“With its India foray, Piaggio will create an exclusive, premium segment,” Ravi Chopra, chair of Piaggio’s Indian subsidiary tells the Associated Press. “The price tag will be secondary as the pride of ownership will be foremost.”

The Vespa LX125 uses a new engine developed specifically for the Indian market. According to Piaggio, the three-valve four-stroke 125cc engine offers 141 mpg, more than existing Vespa models offered in Europe.

Piaggio will build the Vespa LX125 in a new factory in Baramati, India. The new plant will eventually an annual production capacity of 150,000 units. To put that into perspective, Piaggio currently sells about 150,000 Vespa scooters each year.

[Source: The Associated Press]

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