Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Derbi Factory has been saved from being closed

Not much news going on as we end the fourth year of the great motorcycle crisis in America ( 12 years of growth led into a recession and then another so we had to have 4 bad ones,) but in Europe things have been constantly changing.

The big news was that originally Derbi was set to close as a factory in July of 2012. However, yesterday Piaggio Group announced it would keep the iconic factory alive past 2012.  Meaning Derbi won't just be a brand getting made wherever like Piaggio, it will likely still be made in Spain for the time being. The plan presented by chairman Colamino seems to indicate they will use Derbi for emerging brands and keep the factory operating at least until 2014.

Derbi did extremely well in the USA between 1996-2003 when imported by Cycle Imports of Miami. As the market changed and Piaggio Group took over distribution they basically killed the brand making it impossible short of Grey Market units. There's still plenty of people smuggling Derbi units past customs from Spain and we hear of new models on the road all the time, but not in volume. There's always someone at a rally or event that shows up on a Gillera or Derbi that was never "officially" imported. So the brand has a cult following in the states dating back to the 1970s when there were several dirtbike importers bringing in the brand mainly into California. So American fans will rejoice knowing at least this brand is safe.

So some good news came in at the end of the year. It seems for the time being Derbi has been saved from the global slowdown at least for another 2 years.

Piaggio Beverly SportTourer

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