Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport Piaggio to Open Design Center in California

Piaggio to Open Design Center in California

Piaggio to Open Advanced Design Center in California, and Release a Moto Guzzi California 1400

During the Piaggio Group Americas convention held in Miami this week, CEO and Group Chairman Roberto Colaninno says a new Advanced Design Center will open in Pasadena, Calif.

The Piaggio Group Advanced Design Center will be headed by Miguel Galluzzi, a designer born in Argentina and raised in the USA, whose projects in Italy include some of the most celebrated motorcycles of the last 20 years: the Ducati Monster, the Cagiva Raptor, the Aprilia RSV4, winner of the 2010 Superbike World Championship, and the brand new Moto Guzzi California 1400, due to be launched on the market in the fall of 2012.

The California center will work closely with the Piaggio Group Style Center headed by Marco Lambri, and the Group R&D centers in Italy, China, India and Vietnam.

Robert Colaninno says: “Setting up a research center in California opens a window on the changes that will be taking place in our society, way of life, and urban and metropolitan mobility models in the next few years.

“This year we are ramping up our international growth, and consistently with the expansion of our industrial and commercial operations around the world, we are also implementing an ‘intelligence globalization’ policy to create an international system of competences and research in the areas of product marketing and style.

“A few weeks ago, our Mantua location opened a product marketing center with a team of young marketing managers from all the Piaggio Group European and Asian locations. The new Advanced Design Center in Pasadena will be working not only at the cutting edge of style developments, but will also be cooperating with the world’s top universities and research centers.”

During the Piaggio Group convention in Florida, Colaninno and Miguel Galluzzi provided the Piaggio Group Americas dealers with an overview of research and development in mobility technology. Work in the Pasadena center will cover all Group product lines and include projects studying solutions employing new energy accumulation technology and aerospace materials, for development of innovative emission-free engines using alternative energies.

The Piaggio Group Americas convention provided the stage for the American preview of some of the most important motorcycles due to be making their market debuts in 2012 and 2013. The bikes include the new maxi enduro Aprilia Caponord 1200 and the Moto Guzzi California 1400, a stunning “cruiser” scheduled for a fall launch – with an international press launch in the USA – with the name of a bike that established Moto Guzzi as a worldwide brand. The event was attended by the Aprilia riders in the 2012 Superbike World Championship, five-times world champion Max Biaggi – the current leader in the SBK champions table – and Northern Ireland’s Eugene Laverty.

On the American scooter market, which displayed interesting signs of recovery in 2011 (a 6% increase in vehicle registrations from 2010), Piaggio Group Americas has made significant progress in penetration, with market share rising from 27.1% to almost 30%, for shipments of 10,300 scooters (+63.8% on 2010) and revenues of 35.4 million euro (+53.0%).

In 2011, the various versions of the Vespa LX notched up more than 5,300 shipments in the USA, becoming the best-selling European two-wheeler in the USA. In 2011, the Piaggio Group also reported 26% growth in sales on the US motorcycle market; in Canada, Piaggio Group Americas raised its scooter market share to 28% and reported a 103% increase in sales volumes on the Canadian two-wheeler market (scooters and motorbikes).

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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