LML launches 4T “Stella” in India

LML has apparently launched their 4-stroke “NV” (known to us as the Genuine Stella) in the Indian markets of Delhi and Ghaziabad. This Indian-market version surely varies to some degree from the DOT/EPA/CARB-approved version scheduled to come to the U.S. in early 2010, it’s good to read more about it. Sadly, this story seems to have many factual errors, such as the claim that it’s branded as a “Vespa,” or listing every country besides the U.S. as “Stella” territory. (It’s also a safe bet this is a third-generation re-write of an LML press release, and the bike’s not actually on the market yet) Two interesting numbers: They’re claiming almost 130 mpg, and an MSRP of $851 for the deluxe version. Genuine suggested 120mpg, so that’s maybe not far off, but the price is rather hard to believe. Genuine’s surely marking them up a good deal to make it worth their while, but we’d like to think it’s not that much.

Also good to see that the Indian scooter market is bouncing back a bit. Remember, we’ve been predicting a “retro” Bajaj for 2010, though if LML is only selling 1500 scooters a year domestically (and only 5000 worldwide), maybe India’s not ready yet. (Thanks for the link, Pete Selkowe!)

14 thoughts on “LML launches 4T “Stella” in India”

  1. I think those high efficiency numbers are possible for people not in traffic or in a hurry to get anywhere. Think 20 mph in 3rd gear.

  2. As I understand it, there just isn’t any sort of worldwide (or national) standard for motorcycle/scooter mileage, so all mileage estimates should be taken with a grain of salt, but I agree that kind of mileage is possible, and also that it’s not going to happen with two fat Americans driving uphill against the wind at full revs in 4th gear.

    The price is more interesting, because I’m starting to wonder if maybe they really *are* that cheap there, heh.

  3. A little poking around on the web showed prices (for the original NV model) between $775-$817 in India. None of these prices were from actual dealers, thanks to the proliferation of international business-to-business sites that hijack google search results, (it’s like trying to find a restaurant site in the U.S., plus the language barrier doesn’t help). Those prices may be dealer price, but even then it seems likely that a new LML NV/Star could be bought for under $1000 in India.

    Eddy Bullet sells their LML for $2,746.61 in the United Kingdom. The Belladonna goes for $2,619.85 in New Zealand, and the South African LML importer sells ’em for $2,671.32. (this is the 2-stroke model, though of course different countries get different versions, to some degree.) So at $3599, we certainly seem to be paying a premium for the 2-stroke Stella, but the same could probably be said for most scooters… If anyone’s bored, look up the overseas prices for some other scooters, I bet the WoWow, BuBu, Grand Dink, and “PlayPocket Zoomer” would be good places to start.

  4. I went to the local Stella shop in Seoul Korea this weekend. I was surprised to see actual Stella from scooterworks insted of just LML. I didnt get prices, but I’ll go back and report back to you.

  5. “California Kid” (via email) points out:

    The imperial gallon is about 4 liters while our gallon size is 3.74 liters. That might account for the extra 10 mpg.

    I got that MPG number by converting kg/l to mpg in Google, so I don’t think that’s a factor, but yes, a standardized gallon would probably be a good step towards a international standard fuel rating.

  6. We have international standardized units of volume and distance. The only step we need is the one into the 20th century.

  7. I would think that Scooterworks would know, they had a big Stella neon light and scooterworks posters.
    I cant stand standard mesurement. I went form fixing scooters to fixing Hello-copters and they look at me like I punched thier mom when I ask for a 11mm or a 13mm wrench. I think its a ploy by the tool and hardware guys.

  8. I don’t think there is that much of the premium paid that goes unaccounted for. Genuine does offer a pretty great warranty; albeit only 1 year on the Stella, plus the cost of sending it through countless pollution tests and import fees.

    The fact is Stellas break, and Genuine knows that. What a US buyer is paying for is them to get fixed. That is factored into the cost of selling Stella’s in the US; otherwise it’s possible they might not break even selling them.

    Kind of like insurance; your paying for everybody else to crash and get fixed just in case you do the same.

  9. AOI, I agree, you’re paying a premium, but you’re somehow magically still getting what you paid for.

    Makes you wonder about how much it cost Piaggio to make the $5K PX150, though, ha.

  10. Plus you have to take into consideration that Genuine actually sells relatively few Stellas, so those expenses are spread among few users. Maybe that will change with the 4-stroke version, I imagine that’s what they’re banking on.

  11. The sad thing about the $5k PX150 is Piaggio has well paid for all of the tooling involved in manufacturing.

    Genuine has to pay LML to make Stellas since they don’t manufacture their own scooters so to speak. Both LML and Genuine are still managing to make money that way.

    With the tooling well paid for and most manufacturing done “in house” so to speak, I can’t begin to imagine how much Piaggio made that one year in the US on that one model. They probably paid for the entire US production run when they sold the first 10% of models imported. The rest was gravy for GE money bank and Piaggio to consume with flooring interest paid by dealers, and Piaggio securing their loot upfront from GE.

    Really makes you think ill of the 3000 lb Gorilla by the name of Piaggio.

    Great point on the relatively few Stellas being sold, that also adds to the cost of each individual unit.

  12. The Stella serves as a ‘halo product’ for the G lineup. It brings in potential customers who are intrigued by a vision of scooter lifestyle but should not be let near a traditional scooter. At my local shop, they know that the first question most shoppers ask is about licensing. The need for a motorcycle license is the first big pin-prick to these people’s scooter joy. The next joyous step is to the Genuine Buddy. Everybody wins. I think its very important to G to keep on keepin on with Stellas, to keep that scooter DNA in the family.

  13. I cheked out the prices in Seoul today. The want 2,480,000 won. Thats pretty much $2800.

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