VINH PHUC — Piaggio Viet Nam yesterday opened an engine production plant in the northern province of Vinh Phuc in a bid to boost its annual production output to 300,000 motorbikes per year from the current 100,000 units.
The factory, adjacent to its bike assembly line in the Binh Xuyen Industrial Zone, would initially produce engines for the current line of scooters sold in Viet Nam including Vespa, Liberty, Fly and Zip, the Italian-invested bike maker said.
The new engine factory, which will be put into operation next month, will house engine assembly lines, aluminium machine equipment and test benches.
"The engine plant opened today will also produce a new global range of scooter engines developed by our group for manufacture in Italy, Viet Nam and India," Piaggio Group Chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno said.
Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said he hoped the new plant would help modernise the country's fledging manufacturing sector.
According to Piaggio Viet Nam, the company plans to invest some 70 million euros (US$93.4 million) in Viet Nam in the 2012-2014 period as a part of its worldwide investment of 400 million euro in the same period.
Piaggio Viet Nam, a subsidiary of Piaggio Group, Europe's largest bike maker, has produced 180,000 scooters since it began production in Viet Nam in June 2009.
Its complex in Vinh Phuc also includes an R&D centre – the first R&D unit set up by the Piaggio Group in Asia – which operates synergetically with the Group headquarters in Italy's Pontedera, and is focused on the vehicle and engine ranges produced for the Asian and Pacific markets.
Another Italian motor maker, HP Motorcycle Co, last year signed a MoU on the establishment of a motorbike assembly and manufacturing joint venture in Viet Nam, which is planned for development in Ha Noi's neighbouring province of Hung Yen. — VNS