Scoop Scoop on ItaljetUSA

Almost exactly one year ago today, DiamoUSA announced they were bringing Italjet scooters to the U.S. (Our January 9, 2007 interview with Mathu Solo is here). A year has passed and no visible progress has been made, other than a few mysterious (and probably Asian-made) Torpedos (a model not even currently listed on Italjet’s site) showing up at small-time dealer in Minnesota a couple months ago. Today Steve Guzman of the Scooter Scoop announced he’s been hired by LS Motorsports (Diamo’s parent company) to handle marketing and Sales for ItaljetUSA. I’m happy for Steve, he’s a friend and an good guy, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. In November I was on the edge of writing a rant accusing Diamo and Italjet of knowingly deceiving dealers about Italjet’s comeback (or at least its timing) to sucker them into selling Diamo’s other models, but after seeing that Italjet actually had a booth at EICMA, (and the minor fact that I lacked any concrete evidence), I thought better of it, though I still have my doubts. Diamo’s somewhat-fragile reputation is on the line here, and hiring Steve was a wise move, hopefully he can be honest and realistic with dealers and the scootering public. Italjet in the late ’90s and early ’00s was an exciting, promising brand that never realized their full potential thanks to bad import/distribution deals and an abysmal parts supply. The Dragster, in particular, was probably the most beloved scooter of the modern era, and certainly the most distinctive, but it wasn’t given a chance in America. Hopefully this very quiet past year was spent developing manufacturing and distribution resources and preparing for a real launch, because on the surface, I’d be pretty furious if I signed onto Diamo under the promise of the Italjet line.

I still suspect Italjet’s Italian operation consists of a P.O. box in Bologna, a trademark attorney, and a hotline to a factory in Korea. If that’s true, there’s still plenty of potential there if quality control, engineering, marketing, and dealers are handled properly (Genuine does more or less the same thing, and they do it very well). If Italjet is staffed-up and building a giant factory in the outskirts of Bologna, let’s see some photos, let’s get the real scoop. If I see that same 2002 Dragster at Dealer Expo, Steve (who reported eight months ago that “Dragsters are on the boat!” and we’d see them in 6-8 weeks) is going to have a lot of explaining to do.

UPDATE: See comments for Steve’s response.

8 thoughts on “Scoop Scoop on ItaljetUSA”

  1. Youch! I did say that, didn’t I.
    In retrospect I should have considered the source… not that anyone was purposefully deceiving me, but the info was secondhand originating in Italy and for them it was a case of over promising, under delivering. My report ended up being wishful thinking for everybody.

    I found out later that one of the main reasons for the delay was a manufacturing snafu. The intent was to take the designs (like the Dragster for instance) to China and let them do the manufacturing. Test unit after test unit came off the line and didn’t meet Italjet’s quality expectations… SO, they had to pack up all the tooling and move manufacturing BACK to Italy. I’m still digging here, so let me come back to this after I’ve talked to Mossimo myself.

    Anyway, thanks for the well-wishes! My goal is to have my finger on the pulse of Italjet Moto (IT) so that I can keep my dealers and potential customers in the loop on what’s ACTUALLY happening… and I tell you what, if I have to strip down a Dragster 250 and carry it home from Italy in a suitcase I’ll do it, because it’ll be a looooong, cold Dealer Expo if I show up empty handed.

  2. Even if that 250 prototype showed up at Indy I wouldn’t believe that production is anywhere near a reality. When Steve comes back with photos of the production line (regardless of location) and I see several in a nice line at a reputable dealer, I’ll believe the hype. Or at least I’ll believe that that they have any intention of making any bike at all. The Griffon is already in production by Hyosung. If they can’t make 7 extra pieces of plastic and a tank to make a real product then I can’t consider that they’re serious. Pessimism is underrated.

  3. BTW, if you google ‘italjet america’ the first two links are

  4. To add to the confusion, ItaljetAmerica’s site is painfully slow and has zero information, and the old importers’ site comes up too, even though they shut down five years ago. That’s what happens when you do your corporate site in Flash without alternate text tags and don’t update your site in 13 months. Google’s not seeing anything on but the title tags.

  5. I spoke with Steve about this very issue and I fear he’s being used by the guys at LS Motorsports/Diamo/ItaljetUSA(narf). They’re using Steve to bolster their own credibility. If you’re worried about what the “scooter world” is saying about your company hiring them isn’t a bad way to deal with the situation. CMSI (TnG Scooters) did the exact same thing with our friend Rich Easton in Ontario. Despite lofty promises and claims of change for the better, it didn’t improve for the dealers, or customers, and worse yet, they didn’t pay Rich what they’d promised him. Everyone loses. Don’t let a substandard company, slinging substandard product hijack a respected voice in the scooter community. I sincerely hope Steve has the sense to not drink the kool-aid and the balls to report the truth. No matter how bad it looks for the guys signing his check.

  6. I feared the worst for Rich, it was definitely a similar situation. The question is, when does the big money come MY way? I’m virtually BEGGING to sell out.

  7. Hrm…
    *Imagines an Illnoise sellout*

    National Sales & Marketing Manager
    “True Love Returns”

    ;) -hehe

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