Lambretta is the brand name of a line of motor scooters initially manufactured in Milan, Italy, by Innocenti.
The name is derived from the word Lambrate, the suburb of Milan named after the river which flows through the area, and where the factory was located. Lambretta was the name of a mythical water-sprite associated with the river which runs adjacent to the former production site.
In 1972, the Indian government bought the machinery of the Milanese factory, creating Scooters India Limited (SIL) in order to produce the Lambro three-wheeler under the name Vikram for the domestic market. Lambretta scooters were also manufactured under licence by Fenwick in France, NSU in Germany, Serveta in Spain, API in India, Yulon in Taiwan, Pasco in Brazil, Auteco in Colombia and Siambretta in Argentina. Innocenti S.A. (also known as Lambretta Consortium) based in Lugano, Switzerland is the owner of the international trademark Lambretta and has licensed the brand throughout the world.
In 1922, Ferdinando Innocenti of Pescia built a steel-tubing factory in Rome. In 1931, he took the business to Milan where he built a larger factory producing seamless steel tubing and employing about 6,000. The factory was heavily bombed and destroyed during World War II. It is said that, when surveying the ruins, Innocenti saw the future of cheap, private transport and decided to produce a motor scooter, competing on cost and weather protection against the ubiquitous motorcycle.