Italian flair made in Neckarsulm: the NSU Lambretta

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Italian flair made in Neckarsulm: the NSU Lambretta

  • The scooter was built and constantly reinvented between 1950 and 1956
  • The NSU Lambretta became an in-house development in 1956, the NSU Prima
  • 150 years of the traditional brand NSU: Series with classics and one-of-a-kinds from NSU’s model history – Episode 5

The Lambretta was a famous 1950s scooter with a melodic name and la dolce vita flair. It was not an NSU invention, but a licensed production based on the design of Italian manufacturer Innocenti, which was selling licenses to various manufacturers in different countries at the time. How NSU brought the Lambretta to the streets of Germany in 1950 is the subject of this fifth episode in Audi Tradition’s series on NSU’s model history.

In the year 1950, Neckarsulm experienced a wave of layoffs when the plant ceased repairing vehicles for the U.S. Army stationed in Germany during the middle of that year. NSU management was desperately looking for ways to fully utilize the plant’s capacity – and fortunately, a solution was soon found: Motorized scooters were trending in Germany then, a trend that NSU put its chips on. The Neckarsulm-based company signed a licensing agreement with Innocenti and began building the NSU Lambretta in 1950. The scooter’s name referenced its origins; the Italian licensor’s headquarters were located in the Milan suburb of Lambrate.


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