Of late, there has been a buzz around possible launch of Aprilia 150 cc motorcycles in India. The Italian premium two wheeler brand owned by Piaggio Group showcased the RS 150 (fully faired) and Tuono 150 (naked) motorcycles at the previous edition of Auto Expo with an intention of bringing them to the market in foreseeable future.
The company even reportedly conducted dealer preview for its compact displacement motorcycles which signaled that things were progressing as per plan. However, a recent report by Moneycontrol contradicts the general expectations that the Aprilia 150 cc twins are on their way in the coming months.
According to the publication's sources, Aprilia has no concrete plans to introduce small capacity motorcycles as of now. The company's current priority is to update its entire portfolio to comply with the BS-VI emission norms before the April 1, 2020 deadline. The primary reason for delaying the launches of compact sportsbikes is the challenging cost targets.
Diego Graffi, Managing Director and CEO, Piaggio Vehicles, told Moneycontrol that Aprilia is interested in the compact motorcycle segment which presents a market opportunity but the company does not have a fixed date for a launch. He confirmed that such a motorcycle will be a premium offering in 150 - 250 cc space, and Aprilia is currently evaluating various options to try and find a right product.
The official acknowledged that the plan to launch low displacement motorcycles is taking longer than initially estimated but the company wants to find a good balance between price target and local content level.
Compact displacement motorcycles from Aprilia will receive their design cues from the brand's flagship superbikes RSV4 1100 and Tuono 1100. The motorcycles will be rivaling the likes of Yamaha MT-15, YZF-R15, Suzuki Gixxer, Gixxer SF, TVS Apache RR 310, etc. Entry level products from KTM and BMW could also be considered as rivals.
Aprilia's success in the premium scooter segment in India is attributed to attractive pricing, good equipment level and stand-out designing. While the last two traits are guaranteed in any Aprilia, a high level of local content is required to get the pricing right, and that would definitely take some time.