Vespa versus Venti

Don’t say it was unexpected (1, 2) but 2sb has learned that Piaggio has taken some sort of legal action against Hammerhead, the importer of the Venti 150 vintage Vespa lookalike. Our source tells us “Piaggio sent Hammerhead a cease-and-desist order in regards to the Venti yesterday.” We suspect it was actually a C&D letter rather than an order (there’s a difference) or if it’s based on the design of the Venti or the marketing language used in their flyer, but either way, domestic legal action against importers is usually a safer bet than an international legal contest, especially when China is involved. The good news for Hammerhead is that they’re raking in publicity leading into Dealer Expo (just a couple weeks away), so we applaud their market savviness , if not their design and engineering.

Dealer Expo 2008: Andretti/Power Sports Factory


Power Sports Factory, who recently announced a collaboration with motorsports legend Mario Andretti and Benelli, wasn’t taking any chances on getting exposure at DealerExpo. Every attendee’s badge had a PSF logo sticking out of the top and PSF ads were prominently placed in every official publication. They had an expensive-looking aluminum-and-glass booth in a great location right near the RCA dome entrance. And, of course they had Mario Andretti, in the flesh.
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Dealer Expo 2008: Genuine/Scooterworks


Let’s get the DealerExpo ball rolling again (finally!) with a booth that didn’t offer many surprises, but gave us a first look in person at a few bikes we’d been hoping to see in person. The return of the Stella was of course big news to long-time scooter fans, but only one avocado model was on display at the booth shared by sister companies Genuine Scooter Co. and Scooterworks. Presumably, they sold the rest of their first small shipment since 2006.
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TGB/Sachs at DealerExpo2008 REVISED

NOTE: I got a couple things wrong in the original story, hopefully I’ve covered all the mistakes. Apologies to Cobra Powersports for the mistakes and the delay in correcting them.

As Brooke pointed out last week, one of Dealer Expo’s biggest surprises was that TGB importer Cobra Powersports has added historic German marque Sachs to their lineup. Cobra is a solid operation with a good dealer network, and most dealers we talked to were pretty excited by the news.
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Dealer Expo 2008

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Picture a midwestern pro football stadium. Got it? Now picture it totally full of Chinese motorscooters. Hold on, we’ll save you the trouble, here’s what it looks like:

The RCA Dome, Dealer Expo 2008

We have a lot to say about Dealer Expo, and a lot of photos, so instead of one really long writeup, we’ll split it up into smaller posts all week. Stay tuned.