Italian scooter maker Piaggio has presence in India but not for their scooters but for their three wheeler cargo loaders. Piaggio seems real serious about their Indian operations. Recently at the Milan Motorcycle Show in early November 2010, they showcased a low cost three seat city car. This is quite similar to the SmartFortwo car and features twin rear seats, front and ventral driving position. This concept is called Piaggio NT3. This car would feature a bike’s running gear.
This new Piaggio NT3 is based on the existing Piaggio Ape truck which is there in India. The engine options displayed were for 200cc, 300cc and also a 300cc hybrid engine. The novelty of these engines are that they are all Piaggio’s bike engines. This new car would squarely take on the Tata Nano however its length of 2.4 meters is smaller than even the Tata Nano’s 3099 mm, the Mahindra Reva at 2638 mm, Maruti Alto twins at 3620 mm and 3495 mm respectively. It would also compete with the upcoming Hyundai’s small car H800, Bajaj Renault small car as also Maruti’s small car namely the YE3. As of now the company has very big sales figures for the Indian market. The company’s primary target is to meet the price bracket so that it can have big sales figure as well as enjoy profits at the same time. There would be a heavy localization of components, actually about 93%. For this, the company are also trying to figure out an effective way of manufacturing process. The other challenge would also be to set up a nation wide dealer network. Since Piaggio are known more for their three wheelers, the company has to make an image for itself in the 4 wheeler segment. The aforementioned Piaggio NT3 would be quite spacious as demonstrated by the company’s top brass at the demo.