VespaUSA seems to be continuing their abandonment of the boutique, and minimizing their once-strict dealer requirements, as more and more Vespa shops appear in unlikely places. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a Vespa dealership has opened within a print-shop in northern Kentucky, across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati. The new store currently has no dealer license, so sales and service are handled through an Ohio motorcycle dealer, Midwest Power Sports, in Batavia, an eastern suburb of Cincinnati.
Neither shop is listed on VespaUSA’s site, nor do they appear to be part of the Vespa Ohio franchise that includes Vespa Cincinnati (in Blue Ash, northeast of town), Vespa Cleveland, and Vespa Akron. The Kentucky and Batavia shops, as well as a new dealer in Medina (south of Cleveland) seem awfully close to Vespa Ohio’s turf. Vespa Cincinnati, less than 20 miles away, must be excited to read in the paper that, “There must be a need in the intercity area. There are only one or two scooter stores in town, and they only sell Japanese scooters.”
Elsewhere in Ohio, dealers can be found in Columbus and rural New Philadelphia. While this expansion trend is likely infuriating some dealers who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on real estate and advertising, it’s good to see PiaggioUSA finally treating the Vespa as a motor vehicle rather than jewelry.