It appears that Piaggio may soon announce a new international Vespa Club sanctioning body to replace the FIV (Federazione Internazionale dei Vespa Clubs), which they mysteriously dissolved in December. The new body is rumored to be called “Vespa World Club” and is likely to be directed by popular Vespa Club Italy president Roberto Leardi. Unfortunately, comments from Piaggio CEO Rocco Sabelli, published in the November/December issue of the company magazine “Piaggiornale,” indicate that this new organization might be under even tighter control of Vespa’s marketing department:
“To this end [adding extra value to our brands], we will be launching merchandising programs based on each brand’s history and traditions for professional and market-oriented use of the Vespa Club, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi communities.”
Hopefully Sabelli’s comment describes an increased investment to support the independent rallies and clubs that keep the scooter scene alive, rather than a plan to co-opt the historic and colorful national Vespa Clubs and re-tool them into Piaggio marketing squads. In any case, EUROVESPA 2006 is still scheduled for Turin this summer, and proudly displaying the FIV logo on their site.