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    Category: Companies & People By : Yessar Rosendar Read : 1767 Date : Sunday, May 04, 2014 - 17:24:28

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    Indonesia is an important market for Vespa, the iconic scooter made by Italian firm Piaggio & C. SpA. It has a long history in the country as the scooter was assembled in Indonesia from the 1970s until the factory closed in 2001 in the wake of the financial crisis. At its height, the Indonesia factory even exported Vespas to Thailand.

    In 2011 Piaggio once again stepped up its presence in Indonesia with the opening of its subsidiary PT Piaggio Indonesia to directly market the group’s vehicles that were previously distributed by importers.

    The unit was given the task to reposition the brand in the premium segment, avoiding head to head competition with the mass-market motorcycles, most coming from Japan. “We decided that our strategy should focus on developing a market for premium scooters rather than going head to head in the mainstream arena with the established players. We are playing in a different perimeter, creating a new niche,” says Marco Noto La Diega, 46, managing director of PT Piaggio Indonesia.

    Marco took the position in Piaggio Indonesia in March 2013 after spending more than a decade with French automotive components manufacturer Valeo, last holding a position as its Asia sales director.

    Currently the group is still focusing on building the right foundation for Piaggio in Indonesia. Aside from preparing its internal resources, one of the priorities for Marco is to explain to the market that Vespa is now positioned in the premium segment and is no longer the affordable scooter of a decade ago. Currently the entry level Vespa LX125 is priced at Rp 24 million, some 50% more than Japanese scooters that are priced around Rp 15 million. “We want to move from the image of Vespa in 70s to the modern Vespa we have today. We will always remember and never deny the past but we want to educate the market that there has been an evolution in the product,” Marco says.

    Vespa has enjoyed growth in its segment because there are currently no similar products in the market. “We are one of the few products that has the privilege of being a classic in a modern form. Vespa is more than just a scooter, there’s a distinctive design, lifestyle, all combined with functionality and Italian touches,” Marco says. To grow the market the company aims to broaden its lineup and plans to launch at least three new models. Currently the LX and S models contributed 85% of the company sales. In addition the company aims to maintain and grow its fan base. Marco plans to communicate through the media and plans to organize events for its customers, “Community is always important, it is part of our brand equity,” Marco says.