Lambretta scooters were made in many different countries around the world. Italy more than any other country, is known for its motorscooters. In the movies, a photograph of Rome, or in a story about this sunbathed country, the motorscooters are an obvious feature in the Italian way of life. The name most often mentioned when scooters are discussed is Lambretta, and the story of this marquee is a study of the post war industrialization of Italy. The Lambretta, like many of its European brothers, is locked up and interwoven with a parent company that produces many other products in addition to its two wheeled vehicles.
It all began in Italy with the first scooter from Innocenti when the Model M rolled off the production line in 1947. The M went on to be known as the Model A, and from then on the success of Lambretta grew and grew. Who would have thought even today Ferdinando Innocenti and his designers' idea of getting Italy mobile after the war would continue to be a passion, way of life, and a mode of transport?
At first Innocenti struggled to make their scooter profitable. The attention to detail and quest for perfection in the early stages incurred huge set-up costs and small production volumes all added to the overall costs of the machines. As time went on, the factory became more and more modern and efficient and with each machine production volumes rose quickly making the Lambretta a profitable and viable product. The primary market for Innocenti to start with was its home Italian market, but they soon looked for new markets to expand sales and the word of Lambretta. All areas of Europe soon began selling these small scooters, and then most other parts of the world also saw the Lambretta hit their shores.
Innocenti soon realized that by granting licenses to manufacture scooters to various countries around the world would not only allow the Lambretta to be sold in more countries around the world, but also saw gains in royalties from such ventures without capital outlay from the main factory itself.
Some of the countries worldwide that sought licences from Innocenti were Spain, France, Germany, India, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and more. Although some producers did market the Lambretta under differing names, such as the Serveta from Spain and the Siambretta from South America, they all share the family design that came originally from Italy. Many of these factories continued to produce Lambrettas long after Innocenti closed its doors. When the Italian factory finally closed doors it was sold to the Indian Government who set up S.I.L. Scooters India Limited who continue even today to produce a version of the Lambro three wheeled Vehicle.
The last two wheeled scooters to roll off the production lines of the various factories are as follows:
Italy - Production ceased 1972
Spain - Production ceased 1989
India - Production ceased 1998
France - Believed to be 1958
Germany - Innocenti based products ceased in 1956, but continued for a few years under NSU Prima
South American - Not known, some factories still exist today, but only make cars. The Innocenti name is still used in Brazil.