In Conversation with Diego Graffi - MD and CEO Piaggio Vehicles on Small Commercial Vehicle Market in India
Piaggio has sold light commercial vehicles including three and four wheelers in Diesel, Petrol, CNG, LPG fuel variants to over 2.5 million customers across India.
Mr. Diego Graffi MD & CEO Piaggio on the 25 lakh vehicle milestone event. Image used for representative purpose only. (Image: Piaggio)
Piaggio Vehicles, a subsidiary of the Italian Piaggio Group commenced its operations in India in 1999 with the launch of the three-wheeler brand Apé, and has a dominant position in the diesel 3 wheeler segment. Piaggio has sold light commercial vehicles including three and four wheelers in Diesel, Petrol, CNG, LPG fuel variants to over 2.5 million customers across India and exports to more than 50 countries worldwide. We got in touch with Diego Graffi - MD and CEO Piaggio Vehicles to discuss about the business of commercial vehicles in India, product range and other topics related to CV market in India. Here’s an excerpt-
News18 - Tell us about the Piaggio business of small commercial vehicle in India so far since 1999
Diego Graffi - Established in 1884, the Piaggio Group today is one of the leading motor vehicle manufacturers in the world. Currently, Piaggio is the market leader in Europe and has since expanded its services to over 50 countries with a proficient presence in the Asian markets. The 3 and 4-wheeled small transportation vehicles are marketed under the Ape’, Porter and Quargo brands.
In India, Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd (PVPL), manufactures small commercial vehicles with a complete range of three and four wheelers in Diesel, Petrol, CNG, LPG fuel variants. The Company commenced operations in India in 1999 with the launch of the three-wheeler brand Apé, which has grown from strength to strength over the years.
Today, Piaggio products are owned by 2.5 million customers across India and are also exported to more than 50 countries worldwide.
News18 - Does Piaggio plans to enter in the electric mobility segment in India?
Diego Graffi - As far as electric vehicles are concerned, PVPL is working on this technology & would come into the market at an appropriate time.
News18 - What are PVPL’s investment plans for India?
Diego Graffi - Piaggio views India as an extremely important market. PVPL sees many new opportunities in the coming future. Piaggio is lining up investments for enlarging its product portfolio in the Small Commercial Vehcile segment both in terms of vehicle applications (including exploring new segments) and in terms of powertrain, more powerful and efficient, for the Indian and Export market, based on which the investments will be allocated.
News18 - Share some insights on the small commercial vehicles (Three Wheelers) market in India
Diego Graffi - SCV Industry has seen a revival this year as compared to last the few years. We see the growth trend to continue in the last mile connectivity segment considering the stress on ‘Swachh Bharat’ & enhanced rural road connectivity. PVPL has been a leader in the 3Wh cargo segment for nearly a decade now with its current market share of around 50%. It controls nearly 24% of the overall 3Wh market with nearly 40% of the 3Wh diesel market.
News18 - What is the next manufacturing milestone PVPL is looking at?
Diego Graffi - PVPL is looking towards reaching 5 million customers at the earliest. PVPL recently unveiled a new series of Apé CNG/LPG fuel vehicles in the three-wheeler category for the Indian market. The introduction of the new range of CNG/LPG vehicles is a strategic initiative to reinforce PVPL’s commitment of providing path-breaking solutions in the last mile transportation segments.
Recently launched Ape’ Xtra LDX and Apé Auto DX are part of the new water-cooled engine technology range. These variants of Apé are the first of its kind in the industry with water-cooled engines and offer best in class performance in terms of power, pick-up, mileage & maintenance. This new range of vehicles would help the company maintain its market leadership position and achieve its next milestone of five million small commercial vehicles.
News18 - Share some details about the product portfolio under commercial vehicle segment
Diego Graffi - As far as the CV segment is concerned Piaggio is globally known for owning and establishing renowned brand Apé in three wheelers as well as Porter and Quargo in four wheeler small commercial vehicles. It has a wide range of products under two main brands Ape’ & Porter & eight sub brands with various products for varied applications.
To commemorate the 2.5 millionth vehicle rollout milestone Piaggio announced a one of its kind warranty and insurance program for its customers. Under the program, customers buying Apé Diesel 3w vehicles will get a warranty for 42 months or 1.2 lakh kilometres (whichever is earlier). Customers buying the Ape’ CNG/ LPG/ Petrol 3w vehicles will be entitled to a warranty of 36 months or 1 lakh kilometres (whichever is earlier).
PVPL is further working on upgrading & developing various power trains. Piaggio is also gearing up for an introduction BS6 compliant range of vehicles before the deadline of April 2020.
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