1 October 2014
Vespa Legacy in Indonesia: An Interview with Marco Noto La Diega
Indonesia is home to the world’s second largest community of Vespa enthusiasts. With a history together since the 1970s, the country is an important market for Vespa. Managing Director of Piaggio Indonesia, Marco Noto La Diega, answers why the Vespa legacy has and always will be a part Indonesia’s popular culture.
Question (Q): Vespa is worldwide lifestyle icon, and even more, a much-loved brand in Indonesia. What is the history behind Vespa’s iconic status in Indonesia?
Answer (A): Vespa has a long history in the country. The scooter was assembled in Indonesia from the 1970s and was initially a function vehicle. Until recently, Vespa has now transformed to the icon lifestyle as we know of today. In 2011, Piaggio once again stepped up its presence in Indonesia with the opening of its subsidiary PT Piaggio Indonesia to directly market group’s vehicles that were previously distributed by importers.
Q: How did Vespa become such a successful icon in Indonesia?
A: Vespa took the world by storm, especially in Indonesia because the brand represented a global movement. It was the dawn of a revolutionary era in fashion, arts and all forms of creativity, which were led by a driven youth generation seeking freedom, chasing dreams and following their passion. The same was happening in Indonesia and Vespa personify that spirit and became a symbolic atittude towards life. The classic slogan “Lebih Baik Naik Vespa” meaning “it is better to ride Vespa” truly embodies the sentiment that Vespa is not just an automotive product, but a lifestyle choice.
Q: So do you see that legacy still lives on in Indonesia’s generation today?
A: Yes, because the fact is that Indonesia has one of the biggest Vespa communities in the world, second to Italy. Look at the streets and you will see a Vespa somewhere. Search the internet, follow our Twitter or Facebook and you will read endless conversation about Vespa. These communities are very important for us because they are our brand’s loyal supporters and the tangible testimonial that owning a Vespa in Indonesia is not just for the sake of riding, but joining a new brotherhood family.
Q: What is it that Piaggio contributes to Indonesia?
A: Piaggio Indonesia offers a cultural and educational contribution, important pillars for any collaboration. We are bringing a new culture of premium market. I believe this is a motivating cultural contribution offered to our Indonesian customers in quest of differentiation. As for education, we are bringing new technical and culture know-how, and running training towards our own direct Piaggio resources, and towards our network partner’s people for the required knowledge and understanding about the distinctive character of our products versus the Indonesia’s market landscape, with the priority of assuring a “premium” service to our customers.
Q: So how is the modern Vespa different from the Classic Vespa in the 70s?
A: We are one of the few products that has the privilege of being classic in a modern form. Form-wise, everyone knows it’s a Vespa when they see a Vespa, old or modern. That’s because the fundamental design philosophy still can be seen with the new Vespas, but now with a modern touch. It is of great importance to keep with the times and vision the future, especially, in this technological era. Vespa is more than just a scooter, because there’s a distinctive design, lifestyle, all combined wit functionality and Italian touches.
Q: Do you have any advice for Vespa admirers on how to pick the suitable Vespa for them?
A: Every Vespa models are made with a set of unique characteristics that each rider can choose to best fit their style. For a more vintage taste, we have the Vespa LXV. The Vespa Primavera is for those who enjoys a more classic feel. For a more sporty edge, there is the Vespa Sprint and the big body super sport, Vespa GTS Super.