Vespa is one of the oldest brands when it comes to scooters. Vespa is from the stable of Piaggio, the Italian vehicle manufacturer. Vespa came to India during the 1960s collaborating with Bajaj Auto.
Vespa’s design is heavily influenced by the aeronautical industry. Enrico Piaggio, the man behind Piaggio shifting to scooter manufacturing, decided to quit the aeronautical industry after Italy, one of the Axis powers, was defeated in World War II. Enrico felt the need to address the transportation problem of ordinary Italians and started looking out for a two-wheeler. Piaggio consulted aeronautical engineer Corradino D’Ascanio who designed the scooter and Piaggio upon looking at the design exclaimed that it looked like a wasp in Italian. Thus Vespa derived its name from a wasp.
The patent for Vespa was filed in 1946. The design of Vespa scooter with a fully covered drivetrain, rear-engine, control on handlebars, wheels of small diameter, splash guard remains the same. The design got more trendy and attractive over the period. Vespa took the two-wheeler market gradually and became a sensation by 1952.
Vespa was first manufactured in India by Bajaj Auto in the 1960s under license. After the collaboration ended, Bajaj continued to produce scooters on Vespa’s design. Another company to produce Vespa was LML under a joint venture with Piaggio. Vespa under its original name entered into the Indian market in 2012 when Piaggio unveiled a range of scooters at the Delhi Auto Expo. Vespa offers 7 models in India with prices ranging from Rs 1.06 lakh to Rs 1.43 lakh. Vespa is sold through dealers spread in 195 cities and through Piaggio’s premium showroom along with Aprilia.