When Piaggio Vehicle Pvt. Ltd., launched the Vespa in India, in addition to the display of the Vespa in four different heart achingly beautiful shades, and a really long entertainment show the best part of the evening for Riot Engine was our conversation with Mr. Scotti. Flying to Mumbai from Pontedera, the technical and creative headquarters of Piaggio, Mr. Scotti blew us away with his unbridled enthusiasm.

Davide Scotti, Executive Vice President Product Development and Strategies, Piaggio & C.s.p.a

Born in 1957, Davide Scotti holds a holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has been with Piaggio since January 2007. He has worked with Alfa Romeo and Fiat in various positions, and is no stranger to India, having acquired experience here during his stint at Fiat Auto Innovation and Product Design and Development areas. He was the Head of the Alfa Romeo Compact Car Development Centre before moving to Piaggio. Since joining the Piaggio Group in 2007 as Head of Commercial Vehicles Product Engineering & Development, he has coordinated the development of the Group’s new line of diesel engines for commercial vehicles, the renewal of the engine range (diesel, petrol, LPG, methane, electric), the restyling of Piaggio commercial vehicles for the European market and the planning of the new worldwide range of commercial vehicles, as well as the development of the NT3 compact.

He became Director of Product Development and Strategy in January 2010, with Group level responsibility on the product development activities.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

Riot Engine : Considering you are the Vespa as a ‘lifestyle product’ can you give us approximate volumes you expect the Vespa to generate?

Scotti: 150,000 initially, and we expect the sales to increase later in the future.

Now that we have the Vespa finally, when do you think you can give us other fantastic products from the Piaggo umbrella, like say the Gilera Runner ST125/200 and the Derbi GPR125/Cross City?

(Laughs) As you probably know, this is something that we will have to study, understand the markets and then make a decision. So, maybe in the future.

Vespa has experimented with hybrid technology on its range (the Vespa LX 50 HyS and the Piaggio X8 HyS ). Do you see the possibility of a production hybrid Vespa?

We had the MP3 Hybrid on display at the Delhi Auto Expo, and the response was tremendous. Hybrid technology is always a possibility.

Piaggio MP3 Hybrid

The Vespa 946 ( also known as the Quarantasei when it was unveiled at EICMA 2011) is something we would love to see in flesh. Do you think its a possibility at all?

The Vespa 946 is our most advanced product. Lots of aluminium, leather seats and various other features will inevitably make the 946 one of our most expensive products when bring it into production in 2013. So I cannot say at the moment if we will bring the 946 to India.

Maybe at the AutoExpo 2014?

Maybe (smiles).

So there gentlemen, you have a world first scoop. The Vespa 946 is slated for production early 2013, and more importantly will probably have an aluminium monocoque in favour of steel used for eons on Vespas now!