Friday, December 29, 2006

Cautious Good News for Vintage Scooterists

File under Christmas Miracle

Well, it looks like the big news that I missed over the break is that Indian Scooter Manufacturer LML will be getting back into the scooter game. They quit production of the model that Genuine badged the Stella in 49 states back in March of this year do to funding and labor problems. The solid details on this are few, with most of the links pointing to two articles from Indian financial news sites.
What does seem certain, is that LML will initially only be producing NV models (rebadged as Stella, Bella, and Star for foreign export) and this production will just be for esport markets. This model, aside from a few updates is a P150 clone. Where as a few years ago, the P series, and clones from Indian manufacturers who had continued production after ending licensing agreements with Piaggio, dominated the market for manual transmission and/or 2-stroke scoots, in 2007 it seemed like we were hearing the death rattle of the breed. Bajaj, who made a 4-stroke manual scooter based on the P150, ceased manufacture of the Cheetak. LML ran into the aforementioned financial troubles, and looked for a while to be out of business for good. And while I haven't seen an official statement, the word on the street is that Piaggio is gonna put the last hold out of the P lineage, the PX150, to bed due to upcoming EU emission standards.

RK Srivastav, a director with LML, said: “We will begin production of the 150 NV scooter as well as of the APE 3-wheeler that was earlier being manufactured under a collaboration with Piaggio. Initially, 10,000 units of the NV will be made every month and sold in overseas markets. We have no plans to service the domestic market initially”.
He said the engine of the old NV would be upgraded; the company already has “sufficient” export orders for this model and would refrain from manufacturing bikes at present. -From the DNAIndia article (link2)

Interesting observations, they will be producing APEs as well, and the NV engine will see some upgrades. Hmmmm....

link 1

Coverage on The Scooter Scoop
and on 2StrokeBuzz

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