We’ve published an image of the Colombian Lambretta factory before which was an image of Indian SIL Lambrettas being assembled in South America, taken some time during the 1970s by the looks of it.
However the company behind it, Auteco, are still going and in 2011 celebrated their 70th anniversary, which revealed some interesting photos…
Auteco began in 1941 apparently as a small petrol pump and a car business in the city of Medellín and went on to become one of the largest distributors of automotive parts in Colombia. Their website claims that Auteco became the first major importer of motorcycles in Colombia. Their Lambretta connection appears to begin with the LD model, and photographic evidence suggests they may have skipped the Series 1 Li and gone straight on to the Series 2 then Series 3, which would be a similar path to that which the Spanish factory in Eibar went down. Auteco also manufactured 3-wheelers based on the Lambro too, continuing with them in later years with modified bodywork and engines.
When Innocenti packed up Auteco continued their Lambretta connection with India’s SIL and since then have also been involved with SIL’s rival Bajaj (who made a Vespa clone until the early 2000s), Kawasaki of Japan and Kymco of Taiwan.They say, “This has allowed us to become the most important motorcycle company of Colombia, a dream that speaks of development and progress.”