Stefano Pelle, CEO & MD of Piaggio India speaks to autoX about their network expansion plans, the new Aprilia SR 150, and what the Italian two-wheeler manufacturer thinks about the 300cc segment
What are Aprilia’s plans for north India as the company is currently focused in the west and south?
At the moment, unfortunately, Delhi doesn’t have an Aprilia dealer. There are only Vespa dealers here. You may know that we have a new concept for our showrooms called Motoplex. We have currently four. One in Pune is run by Piaggo itself, while the other three in Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi are run by our dealers. These are our flagship stores where all our international brands are available under one roof. Though, our mono brand Vespa dealers will also sell the new Aprilia scooter – SR 150. That’s why most of the Vespa showrooms are redesigning the fascia and are adding the brand Aprilia. The SR 150 will help us increase our network, especially in the north, where we are relatively weak. I think it will do very well in the north. Going by its personality, I see the SR 150 more of a Punjabi than a Tamilian. But on a serious note, we have plans of expanding our dealership and we want to add 20 more this year.
With the scooter market on the rise in India, how do you think the market will respond to the SR 150?
Normally scooters are used for commuting, but we have created a non-boring looking scooter. It’s our version of a hybrid as it looks like a motorcycle from the rear and a scooter from the front. But its design is very sleek unlike other scooters in India, which are traditionally designed and are not that good looking. Many even call the SR 150 a crossover. Being an Aprilia, it will be powerful, but without compromising on the practical aspect. It gets a storage compartment underneath the seat and the floor is flat, which provides enough space to keep a bag. Therefore, it is more convenient than a motorcycle and as its an automatic, you don’t have to keep changing gears, and still provides the thrill of a small bike. The Aprilia SR 150 actually creates a new segment for those who are bored of typical scooters and also for families, who find motorcycles impractical.
Changing the topic to motorcycles. At the moment in India, there are many major players present in the 300cc segment. Could that entice Aprilia to crash the party?
It is an interesting segment. Currently we are evaluating whether it makes sense for us to be a part of this segment. There could be a possibility, but at the moment we don’t have an engine in that class. It is something we can see for the future.
Also read: Aprilia launches the SR 150