SIL to be Sold,
Lambretta Future Unclear as Ever

The Indian government is looking to sell their majority share of Scooters India Limited, who manufactured Lambrettas until 1998, and currently manufacture the Vikram three-wheeler. Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors have both expressed interest and at least one story suggests that on top of a promised $30 million relaunch of Vespa production in India, Piaggio (gasp!) is also interested in SIL.

SIL’s greatest asset may be their “world right (to) the trade name Lambretta/Lambro,” but according to the story linked above, SIL’s ownership of the name is currently in dispute with the Swiss/Italian Lambretta Consortium, who appears better-equipped to win the fight.

It’s nigh impossible to make sense of the intricacies of Lambretta licensing, Fanatic Scooters has tried, but their info is out-of-date (and their book no longer seems to be available, online or off). UK branding concern Fine White Line (who list their sub-licensees at “Lambretta Global”) and Lambretta USA secured their rights directly from SIL, with Lambretta USA suggesting a new Indian-made Lambretta was a possibility when they launched their badge-engineered Adlys a couple years ago. Even sub-licensees seem to have sub-sub licensees, like Oyster World, who appear to be an American licensee of Lambretta Clothing UK, a sub-licensee of FWL, three full steps removed from SIL, who it turns out may not own the rights anyway. Meanwhile, the Consortium is apparently licensing the name to other companies (and even listing some of the FWL properties on their site to further confuse things). The Consortium also seems to oversee the European-market “Lambrettas,” including the “Pato” PT125/150 and the Lamb 50/125 (both ho-hum Chinese scooters sold under dozens of brand names worldwide) and the pretty-but-mostly-imaginary Cygno concept. On top of that, there’s the MotoGP race team Lambretta Reparto Corse, which may have connections to both concerns and seems to be a vanity endeavor, spending a lot of money to promote a brand that barely exists, at least in the two-wheel market (wait, did we mention the bicycles?). The public at large seems to have lost interest in the oversaturated brand name as the memory of the once-great scooter is replaced with an ever-growing line of random merchandise. If any of these companies were fighting over the right to revive the scooter, they’d have our vocal support, but the most legitimate attempts at reviving the Lambretta design for modern times (wisely) abandoned the Lambretta name long ago (We’re looking at you, Scomadi). The Cigno seems like the only real contender, and despite attractive renderings and trade-show maquettes, if it’s ever actually produced, it’s a good bet it’ll be another generic Asian GY6 clone with a superficial plastic shell.

Thanks loads to David V, who sent the two news stories (and another coming momentarily.)

7 thoughts on “SIL to be Sold,
Lambretta Future Unclear as Ever”

  1. Yesterday I was lamenting the latest Italjet effort to remake the Velocifero in Chinese scooter form, as posted by Steve from The Scooter Scoop. Another commenter noted that most of the designs from the golden era of Italjet were from Alessandro Tartarini (who he suggested was no longer linked with his brothers efforts). His design company is called NOX and designs for Roxon motorcycles, and some of the products clearly show his fingerprints. Other google-found shreds noted his involvement with the new Lambretta of the Pato125N variety shown at EICMA 2009. And the most interesting bit was his Alibaba advert. One of his examples is clearly the CAD drawing of that Pato125N shown last year.

    I think that is the best design of the bunch, INCLUDING the rehammered original from Scomadi. Hopefully the race team, which I will post more about later, and all rights will land with the effort that makes that scooter. If Alessandro was really behind more of those great Italjets and now the single best new Lambretta design, I have high hopes for the thoughtfulness of the design and product. I can all but guarantee that anything less may was well be just another badge engineered Mainland product.

    Beeb, do you have the design book Spoon? I just ordered it today from a used seller on amazon for 3.00. Supposedly it has something from him A. Tartarini in it. I didn’t get it just for that, but the reviews just made it sound like a cool book.

  2. I guess I should post Steve’s news about the Velocifero. I swore I’d never post about Italjet again, but maybe that doesn’t count. It definitely still falls into the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category.

    Why redo the Velocifero without the dual headlights? I thought they were cheesy at the time, but the headlights and the last steel bodywork we’ll ever see outside of Vespa were the scooters’ defining feature, with one headlight and plastic cowls, it’s indistinguishable from a Vino.

  3. It’s kind of a non-story. Steve gives it more than it’s fair share of press. Just more of the same bad design with two pieces of plastic that resemble two other pieces of plastic on a much better designed scooter made 11 years ago.

  4. “This is going into production in X months and will be available in less than a year for $X, and we’re looking for feedback from consumers”

    I’m not posting about anything until it passes homologation anymore. Maybe even until it clears customs.

  5. GROSS… I would drink that just so I could puke on a Lammy…

  6. Well another round of shows is coming so if the last few years are anything to go by there will be something new…

Comments are closed.