Lambrettas in Colombia – The Auteco Factory

The Auteco Lambretta plant in Colombia, circa 1963.

The Auteco Lambretta plant in Colombia, circa 1963.

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…

An Auteco Lambretta service workshop during the 1960s.

An Auteco Lambretta service workshop during the 1960s.

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.

Club Auteco Lambretta.

Club Auteco Lambretta.

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.”

Auteco 3-wheelers, which have a Lambro heritage.

Auteco 3-wheelers, which have a Lambro heritage.

8 thoughts on “Lambrettas in Colombia – The Auteco Factory

  1. I live in Colombia and have several Auteco built Lambrettas from 1963 to 78,those 3 wheelers are not Lambros and have no connection with them,they are ROA and were built under licence from Spain,they have a Villiers type engine and many are still about today,but with Renault 4 engines fitted or Beetle,sopme still have original type,the ROA was built in Pereira where I live,the factory later built Mobylette/Motobecane and then Piaggio Ape it now assembles Suzuki!

    • Thank you for your comment Alan. The image is actually posted on Auteco’s own website, to which I linked in the blog, so that’s why I made the assumption. I know they had versions of the Lambro as there are other photos of older (original looking) Lambro derived vehicles in their factory, packed up and ready to ship. Or maybe they were shipped in, as CKD (complete knockdown kits) from Innocenti in Italy? I’ll post that other photo up to this blog shortly, and thanks again.

  2. Hi – I came across this website- the photo of the auteco factory in the 60’s is very cool. I am part of the Lambretta Club here is the USA – I am the Secretary and I help with the magazine – May I have your permission to use this photo as part of our cover?
    I can send you a few copes when it’s printed and give you credit and note this site as well.
    thanks! Kieran Walsh
    Lambretta Club USA Secretary

    • Hello Kieran, thanks for the message. We didn’t take the photo originally, so don’t own the copyright. If you could mention where you found it and what e do though we’d be grateful!
      Regards,
      the Scooternova

  3. Thanks for the write up. I found this on the net as well: http://historycarscolombia.blogspot.ca/p/la-motoneta-auteco-lambretta.html
    The article is in Spanish but the gist of it was that Medellin produced Lambrettas were CKDs but of a hybrid sort, taking bits and bobs from Italian and Spanish production models. There also seems to have been some production of parts in Colombia.

    From another source: http://issuu.com/publimotos/docs/publimotos85/53
    Total production amounted to about 30,000 bikes and that the Li 150 was the most sold model.

    I am heading back there this summer and will hopefully be able to find one to restore that isn’t going for screwball prices.

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