So here we are, at the beginning of a new year and so far the saga of the Lambretta brand name shows no signs of abaiting.
Here’s the latest offering, this time from Vietnam, although the design appears to have been penned by our old friend Alessandro Tartarini of Italjet fame.Tartarini has recently designed the Brutus bike, a concept picked up by Caterham Cars for their recently launched bike divsion (November 2013).
Prior to that (and not including Italjet) Tartarini designed the Lambretta LN for the Motom Group, the retro looking scooter that featured metal bodywork, an engine from Sym in China and was assembled in Taiwan. Or something like that.
Unfortunately our Vietnamese isn’t too good I’m afraid, but from what we can gather here’s the rub; It seems the scooter will be assembled and distributed by the Vinh Phat Group in Vietnam, who launched the new model in Hanoi last week.
It is powered by a fairly basic (and presumably old design) single cylinder, air-cooled, 124.6cc 4-stroke automatic engine, fed through a regular carburettor and boasting a top speed in the region of 60mph. It has a 12″ wheel at the front, 13″ at the rear, hydraulic disc brakes at both ends, and the rear suspension is adjustable for pre-load.
In a nutshell, it’s very similar to the Japanese styled-sports style scooters available in Vietnam, so the Vinh Phat Group have followed a similar route, thrown in a few LEDs, slashed the price to almost half that of the metal bodied Lambretta LN, and have aimed the new plastic-bodied Lambretta LamSport directly at the Vietnamese youth market in an attempt to get Lambretta branded scooters selling over there.
They seem pretty serious about it too, flying designer Tartarini in from Italy for the public launch of the new Lambretta scooter.
How all this fits in with whoever is shouting loudest about owning the Lambretta Trademark today however, we really don’t know. We’re not sure we want to know either, or indeed is anyone bothered any more? I know we’re not really because the legal wranglings have pretty much devalued a once great brand in our opinion.
But, just for fun, we tried to figure out what’s going on. However all the websites previously related to Motom Electronics Group SPA’s Lambretta scooters seem to have disappeared, and the Lambretta Consortium‘s site rarely changes, other than ocassionaly to post a threat against someone who dare use the Lambretta name which they think they’ve got sole rights too.
for what it’s worth, as far as we’re concerned Scooters India Limited purchased the Lambretta name together with the tooling from Italy in 1972 and then produced Lambretta scooters up until the late 1990s. On the surface of it, this would appear to settle the argument over who the rightful owners of the Lambretta brand actually is. However, it seems that today, if you have enough money and the right type of lawyers, then you can probably buy anything, whether you deserve it or not…