Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Interesting Details in Piaggio Press Release

Some interesting hints on the future of European Scooter Production came out in the latest Piaggio press release.
Chief Executive Roberto Colaninno believes that Piaggio will have sales of 100,000 units in 2011, two years ahead of schedule. This is largely due to production from Vietnam and India, ( see the video I posted from my trip to Vietnam on the gigantic city factory they built over there )

On mature European markets, Piaggio unveiled further details on the relaunch of its classic Moto Guzzi motorbike brand, which one analyst had said was unclear.
"I only want to say we are satisfied with the sales we are doing (in Asia) that offset the fall in sales in Europe," Colaninno said at a news conference in northern Italy for the 90th anniversary of the Moto Guzzi brand.

In the first eight months of 2011, the company posted a 3.2 percent rise in worldwide sales to about 453,000 vehicles.

"In 2014, we think we will be 50 percent Europe and 50 percent Asia," he said, declining to give a sales forecast for the year.

Sales of Piaggio scooters in Asia soared to account for more than a third of the group's revenue last year, from 10 percent in 2003. 

After reading the release and my updates on production from Vespa the last few years I can honestly say expect to see more outsourcing of the Aprilia, Derbi, and Piaggio brands. It's too expensive to manufacture them in Italy and more than likely you will see more of this coming from the JV with ZONGSHEN.
Even in Taiwan a mature market they have relaunched the New Vespa boutique idea and are selling fewer than 1,000 pieces there at the time. Only time will tell what this means for the "made in Italy" brand.
The real question as an American is where does Piaggio see the US and Canadian markets? Especially after getting rid of the Canadian distributor and merging the operation with the US offices?
What about Derbi? What is going on with the factory in Spain and is the move to close the factory an indicator of where things are going in Europe?
Will we continue to see Gillera as a Europe only brand?
More questions than answers about the state of Italy, but at least we know there is growth in Asia.

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