Sources (SDG at Modern Buddy,, Hell For Leather, Scooterism, etc…) report that Paolo Timoni, CEO/President of Piaggio Group Americas since 2005, has left the company. Piaggio has yet to confirm or deny the rumors. PGA imports and markets the Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia, and Moto Guzzi brands in the U.S.
Update, new prez/CEO is Manuel Martinez, formerly manager of Piaggio Spain.
Piaggio announced a new business plan today:
The plan is focused on new industrial plants in India and in Vietnam, on strengthening the commercial presence in Asian markets via new products and on development of new technologies for European and American markets…”
This clearly breaks the paradigm and thinks outside the box of Piaggio’s 2007 plan to build more scooters in India and Vietnam and Brazil, while strengthening their commercial presence in Asian markets via new products and on development of new technologies for European and American markets.
Colaninno is surely a visionary, but I bet I can predict his 2012 plan: Piaggio will manufacture more different scooters, and sell them to people, at a profit — wait for it — around the world! If we’re all lucky, that may still include the United States
Marseille’s Piaggio dealer King Moto rigged up Olympique Marseille graphics for pretty much every vehicle in the Piaggio Group lineup. Why do those look so cool, but when you see a Arizona Diamondbacks or Indiana Pacers scooter, you just want to cry?
Businessweek and others are reporting that “McKinsey & Co Inc. is studying a possible merger
between Ducati Motor Holding SpA and Piaggio.” Before you get too excited, note that McKinsey & Co Inc. are regarded as occasionally-dangerous hypemongers. One commenter following up Autoblog’s story notes:
You may recall that McKinsey created the corporate strategy for Enron. Much of their work, which is often highly touted and quoted, is about suggesting mergers and consolidations, both internal and external to companies.
Still, it’s interesting to think about, in the greater scheme of Italian motorsports musical chairs. On one hand, homogenization strips brands of their individuality. On the other hand, Ducati’s credibility (with half of Piaggio’s revenues) couldn’t hurt Piaggio/Vespa/Guzzi/Aprilia in the U.S. market. And we’d all be invited to Ducati Island.
According to Reuters UK, Piaggio reported a 28% drop in net profit in 2008, which reminded us to check on our Piaggio stock: It’s at €0.95, an all-time low since Piaggio’s June, 2006 IPO at €2.30. Poor sales, a bad economy, and the weak Euro all hurt Piaggio last year, as did nearly €100 million in new debt from stock buybacks and a €.06-per share dividend last year, which will be offered again this year, which seems counterintuitive, but what do we know?
Continue reading “How’s your Piaggio stock doing?”
Every February, powersports dealers from around the nation descend on grey, shivery, boring Indianapolis to see what’s new in the industry. It’s a chance for manufacturers, importers, and distributors to wine and dine their dealers and hopefully round up some orders for the upcoming riding season. This was our third year at DealerExpo, though it was our first with actual 2strokebuzz press passes. Continue reading “Dealer Expo 2009, Part I: Overview”
Speaking of EICMA, Piaggio is expected to show the Piaggio GT 850. Crazy. Apparently it’s based on Piaggio’s 839.3 cc V-twin automatic engine, though we’re still not clear why Gilera calls it an “800” (GP800) and Piaggio (GT 850) and Aprilia (Mana 850) call it “850.”
From our spies at Piaggio’s fall dealer meeting:
Dinner meeting features Jay Leno: 45 minutes of stand up, closing with “when Piaggio called me they said, ‘we don’t have much money,’ and I said ‘I’ll do it free, I’m Italian, I want to support an Italian product, I like Italian bikes,’ then I get here and find out how your sales are up and your dealers aren’t exactly hurtin’.
Continue reading “PiaggioUSA 2008 Fall Dealer Meeting”
Piaggio announced today that they’ll be incorporating the operations of wholly-owned subsidary Moto Guzzi into Piaggio’s infrastructure by the end of November, moving Guzzi production to Piaggio or Aprilia facilities, and “rationalising the technical, industrial, design and style operations of the two companies.”
Indianapolis MotoGP “Valentino Rossi” “Nicky Hayden” “Jorge Lorenzo” “Casey Stoner” Indianapolis Motor Speedway
More photos from the Indianapolis MotoGP.
Continue reading “More MotoGP photos”
ApriliaUSA has added two new displacements to its Scarabeo line, which is now available in 50cc, 90cc, 100cc, 125cc, 150cc, 175cc, 200cc, 250cc, 290cc, 310cc, 355cc, 400cc, 401cc, 500cc, 600cc, 883cc, 1000cc, 1200cc, and 1500cc models. (to be fair, a couple of those are discontinued, and not all models are available in the U.S.). Meanwhile, in Italy, Aprilia is offering a free seaside vacation or a €500 travel credit with purchase of selected scooters. That should cover all the Aprilia news for the next year.
Paolo Timoni is feeling good about Aprilia’s future, based on the popularity of the Tuono 1000 R Factory sportbike, but it looks like Aprilia’s biggest growth was in the scooter market. From a Piaggio Group press release:
Aprilia’s U.S. scooter retail unit sales, which rose 56 percent over the 12-month period, were aided by the addition of two models: the newest and most powerful addition to the Scarabeo family, the 500 ie, and the sophisticated, urban-dwelling SportCity 250.
Aprilia scooters are in a tough spot, marketing-wise, They’re expensive, and their Piaggio and Vespa brethren get all the attention from scooter fans while the sportbikes get all the attention from Aprilia fans (and, often, dealers). The situation is further complicated by the Scarabeo line being marketed separately from Aprilia’s other scooters. Scarabeos have their fans, but the SportCity seems to be a pretty good bike that you rarely see on the street.
Motoblog.it reports that some sort of Beatles-themed Scarabeo 50 Street is in the works, to tie into Aprila’s sponsorhip of Rome’s “Sgt. Pepper’s” 40th Anniversary festival on June 1. We here at 2SB are holding out for a Kinks-themed Yamaha C3.
You read it here a week ago (and should have read it here three months ago), but it just hit the Indian business press today: Vespa and Aprilia are launching a subsidary in India, and will manufacture scooters there for the Indian market, including more fuel-efficent versions of Aprilia’s larger-displacement models.