Piaggio Group Launches Market Expansion Plans
Ken Freund
Rider Report
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Piaggio Group, the importer and distributor of Italian scooter and motorcycle brands, is on looking to introduce an even greater number of American consumers to its brands. The different product lines are significantly expanded for 2005, due to Piaggio?s acquisition of the Aprilia Group in December 2004. That purchase created Europe?s largest motorcycle manufacturer, and the world?s fourth largest. With Aprilia and Moto Guzzi dealer networks, say executives, the new group is poised to make an impact in virtually every segment of the growing U.S. scooter and motorcycle market.

?Separately, both companies certainly enjoyed their individual success stories,? said Paolo Timoni, Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Piaggio & C. S.p.A. , ?but together, we present a formidable challenge to our competition and exciting synergies exist that allow for certain efficiencies of business. Even though the brands are separate and distinct there may be opportunities in a few markets, where not all the brands currently exist, that allows for future growth of our dealer network?. Timoni, who personally welcomed the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi teams during a recent visit to company headquarters in Woodstock, Georgia, said that new opportunities in the sport bike, touring and cruiser markets with brands like Aprilia and Moto Guzzi presented growth opportunities for the Piaggio Group in the U.S. marketplace.

To achieve its growth goals, said Timoni, the new organization will maintain two operational footprints in the U.S. market. In addition to Piaggio USA?s corporate headquarters in New York, the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi USA corporate offices, as well as warehouse operations for both companies, will remain in Atlanta. ?This country?s immense geography calls for more than a single-point location. All of our brands are fully focused on responsive service to customers and dealers, and we feel that this is best served by continuing the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi teams? great work from the existing Atlanta location.?

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Vice President and General Manager of Aprilia World Service USA, Inc., Tom McDonald stated he ?was pleased with the decisiveness of Piaggio management and excited about the future market growth potential of the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi brands. This is an exciting time for the employees at our office in Georgia and we look forward to working closely with Piaggio and Aprilia SpA to further build the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi brands and introduce the new models of both brands this year?.

Aprilia World Services USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aprilia S.p.A., a member of the Piaggio portfolio of motorcycle and scooter brands. Piaggio, which acquired Aprilia S.p.A. in December 2004, is Europe?s largest motorcycle manufacturer, with over 6,000 employees engineering, producing and marketing over 600,000 vehicles each year in over 50 countries. The group?s portfolio of brands includes Aprilia, Derbi, Gilera, Laverda, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio and Vespa. Founded in 1998 Aprilia USA is the company?s U.S. importer and distributor. The subsidiary is headquarted in Woodstock, Georgia. Aprilia USA has 120 U.S. dealerships. For information on Aprilia?s complete model line, visit www.apriliausa.com.

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