Well 2009 is here and I have vowed to buy American! Sadly when it comes to scooters there are none made in the USA.
Scooter brands since the days of Harley Davidson [ a long long time ago they made scooters much like Ducati and given the state of Harley sales they should look into it again] Here at MRP I've decided to make more parts in the USA right now we are making our own intakes and some velocity stacks that proudly say made in the USA. We also carry Gates belts and other US brands like Slipstreamer so were happy to have more US suplliers in 2009.
Were always looking so if you know a car parts supplier that is doing bad and wants to make some money in an area of growth that doesn't need a bailout from uncle sam tell them to look at scooters. We need more supplieres of parts that say made in the good old USA.
That leads me to another point, I approached the state of Florida for a loan a year ago and was denied because they looked at the margins of the parts we bring in from Vietnam and China. I said I was willing to make less and build accessories in America and the state of Florida said no. They felt it was better for us to import. So much for helping manufacturers in a growth market like scooters. Its just a clear sign that despite the trends if you believe in something you have to go for it. Like Nissan or Toyota making cars in the USA I think those cars are just as American as any ford or GM if not more American.
Word on the street is Kymco and Sym want to buy an Italian assembly plant in 2009. Being that Benelli already sold to QJ / Keeway and Italjet is just a brand with no factory it only leaves one or two factories that make scooters and dirtbikes. I would not be surprised if Kymco can make an Italian scooter for less than Vespa. Same goes for them as I write this the new Vespas being made in Vietnam are being sold in Taipei and Hong Kong. In a few years they might be sold in Italy. America will probably be the last maarket where this happens and much like a ford it will read
THIS VESPA Was designed in Italy with parts from China assembled in Vietnam.
That's 2009 at a glance more global players, regardless here at MRP we will be hard at work helping US dealers find the parts they need for Italian, Chinese? Or Vietnamese scooters. Its what we do. Stay tuned....