Friday, July 29, 2011

ITALY is still the most important market for scooters in the world.

Following up on my last post, it seems that year on year many brands have left the Italian market only to be replaced by unknown Chinese brands. Sadly, many of these have been the higher quality Taiwanese brands which have left the market such as TGB, ETON, etc...

Europe is a complicated market to analyze.

The shakeup continues in Italy for 2011 since many of the incentives to buy under 125cc units have expired. Companies such as Malaguti have shut down all assembly having over 6,000 units in warehouses unable to sell them to the dealers who are saturated with stock. 

New emerging mainland brands have come in such as Garelli ( made by several Chinese OEMs such as Rhom or Zongshen ) we've also seen CF MOTO have some success with private label brands such as ITALKIT, but under the CF MOTO name you only see a handful of registrations less than 30, but under private label they've had more success. This leads me to believe that Chinese and several Taiwanese companies have just not been able to market their brand to the Italians. Special consideration should be taken when looking at brands like Benelli that continued to be sold despite the company being sold to QJ during the years 2005-2007 registrations could have been older pre-QJ production but there is no way of knowing since in Italy VIN years are not important, but one thing is obvious the company has done worse since being taken over and is basically now an export brand for QJ which despite its better price point has lost sales and market position in Italy.

Companies with much better marketing like Garelli have taken over. From TV commercials to sleek ads have helped them capture sales despite them being made in Asia.

They are even sold in Supermarkets - see my report here:

Each market needs to have the proper marketing so despite having a good product PGO seems unable to sell even more than 50 scooters a year between 2002 - 2010, but in the USA under the Genuine marketing it became its best market in the world. Same applies to SYM which in France sells well as does TGB because both markets have different marketing and importers. Meanwhile in Italy the marketing has been handled totally differently. TGB even at one point had a subsidiary in Italy run by a Taiwanese manager and he was unable to increase sales to the point where it had to close down. 

Private label brands like QJ are hard to analyze because of the amount of names they sell under. In the USA alone before the crisis hit they had over 9 importers from GMI, DIAMO, Xtreeme, Andretti - Powersports Factory - Benelli, Keeway, VENTO, etc..... the same applies to Europe. QJ companies have brands that don't exist anywhere outside of select markets such as GENERIC. This is a top selling brand in Germany distributed side by side with DAELIM and TGB. Despite the fact DAELIM and TGB have basically left the Italian market.

Only Honda, Piaggio, and Yamaha seem to dominate every European market with Suzuki coming in a close third or fourth in each county. In some countries like Spain the sales crisis has hit even harder with entire companies leaving such as CF MOTO, yet CF MOTO continues to sell to importers in Germany, Greece and the private labels in Italy.

The best markets to look at are Italy, Germany, and Spain. They reflect everything that is good and bad about the Powersports Industry. Spain shows you how bad it can get, Italy what brands have to do to be a success, and Germany how quickly a country can come back from the abyss where sales are strong again compared to the other markets.

I can't post current data without getting in trouble, but someone asked me why I say KYMCO is the best. It's simple when looking at the data of brands from 2002 to 2010 I can say year on year KYMCO has gone from the top 20 in each market to the top 10. In Italy its number 3 or 4 in all the scooter categories. 

One thing to consider are Go Kart and Buggy registrations. When analyzing Taiwanese companies like ADLY, PGO, ETON that make ATVs or Buggies you notice how few scooters they sell in Europe, but off-road seems to be their main market. PGO sells in Germany and Italy several hundred Go Karts, but hardly any scooters between 2005-2010. Same applies to ADLY, but sadly ATVs are not required to be registered in most countries so its difficult to analyze. It is possible Eton, ADLY, Hartford have more sales, but its impossible to see since they might be under private label names. One bright spot, CPI is back in European markets and seems to be doing well in France again.

KYMCO 2005

PGO 2005
 KYMCO 2007

No comments: