Piaggio plans fresh push in LCV market with new launches

Piaggio Vehicles India, the local arm of the Italian two-wheeler and LCV  company, plans a renewed bid to penetrate into the Indian light commercial vehicle market with its global range of Porter mini trucks that will replace existing models.

Piaggio currently sells the Ape Mini in the 0.5-tonne category and the Ape Truck Plus in the 1-tonne category, but neither has made a dent in the market. Now in one or two In 1-2 months, its upgraded products will replace these models.

The Porter 600, a 0.5-tonne micro truck, and the Porter 1000, a 0.75-tonne mini truck, are likely to be launched in the next one month and will be pitted against Tata Motors' Ace Zip and Ace and Mahindra & Mahindra's Maxximo. The company also plans to introduce a 1.5-tonne truck based on the Porter platform.

Ravi Chopra, chairman and managing director, Piaggio Vehicles India, said, "Built on an all-new platform, the Porter vehicles aim to offer more than the competition in terms of power, fuel efficiency, gradability. Though the segment is slowing, it is one of the largest segments in the mini-truck space, we hope to have at least a 10 per cent market share."

With a capacity of 1,00,000 units of four-wheeler mini-trucks, Piaggio's utilisation has been abysmally low.

''The new products will have the same cabins that are used in Italy by the parent company,'' said Chopra.