Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (PVPL) has rolled out its 2.5 millionth small commercial vehicle (SCV) in India. The milestone vehicle was a Piaggio Ape Xtra LDX three-wheeler, which was rolled out from the assembly line at the company manufacturing facility in Baramati. Out of the 2.5 million SCVs, 1.5 million vehicles were auto rickshaws and the remaining 1 million were goods and cargo carriers. In fact, to commemorate this occasion, the company has also introduced a new special edition Piaggio Ape Xtra LDX that will be offered in an all-new Brown body colour with the 25 lakh (2.5 million) sticker.
Piaggio India also announced the launch of its new alternate fuel vehicles (Petrol+CNG/LPG). The powertrain will be offered with the Ape Xtra LDX and Ape Auto DX and come with the company's first water-cooled petrol engine that comes paired with both CNG and LPG fuel formats. The vehicles will cater to both the passenger and cargo vehicle segment.
Piaggio says that the introduction of the new range of CNG/LPG vehicles is a strategic initiative to reinforce the company's "commitment of providing path-breaking solutions in the last mile transportation segments". Talking about the new range of alternate fuel vehicles, Graffi said, "It is our focus to enhance Piaggio's leadership in the market and widen the choice for the customer. The emphasis on alternate fuel technology is growing every day in the country and hence we introduced an improved range of alternate fuel vehicles to cater to the market's needs. The customer initiatives and improved range of alternate fuel vehicles are a part of Piaggio's strategy to further consolidate and strengthen Piaggio's presence in the small commercial vehicle industry."
Piaggio Vehicles India commenced its operations in the country in 1998 with the launch of its first model the Ape three-wheeler commercial vehicle. The company achieved its first one-million milestone in 2010, while the remaining 1.5 million vehicles were manufactured in the last 8 years and is now aiming to reach the 5 million production milestone. Piaggio has an annual production capacity of over 300,000 three-wheelers and 80,000 four-wheelers at its Baramati plant and the company is currently running at 95 per cent capacity. When asked if there are any plans to expand production capacity or make any additional investments, Diego Graffi, MD and CEO Piaggio India said, "the production line in our Baramati plant is quite flexible and right now we do not see the need to expand production capacity for next 5 to 6 years".