2014 Piaggio MP3 500 Launch ExtrasUltimate MotorCycling International Correspondent Tor Sagen was recently in Paris for the launch of the 2014 Piaggio MP3 500, the three-wheel scooter that is a normal sighting in Europe.
Besides providing our readers with an MP3 500 Review, Sagen also spoke with Piaggio’s CEO and reported on some marketing figures. Following is Sagen’s report.Speaking at the international launch of the new Piaggio MP3 in Paris, Piaggio Group Chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno said “The Mp3 three-wheel scooter making its second-generation debut today is the perfect emblem of what Piaggio does and what we intend to do in more and more in the future.“We want to do things that are completely new, not just introduce a continual series of innovations. The three-wheel scooter didn’t exist until we created it with the Mp3. The same thing happened with the Vespa almost seventy years ago, when we changed the world of mobility.”Talking about Piaggio Group strategy in the immediate future, Colaninno added: “Mobility will change completely over the next ten years. Customer requirements will be quite different, new needs will emerge, linked increasingly to the growth of major metropolitan areas: not just cities like Paris, London or New York, but also Cairo, São Paulo, Delhi, Hanoi, Shanghai.“As I said at the EICMA motor show in Milan last November: to understand and keep ahead of new mobility needs, we have to think of something that doesn’t exist. I don’t mean developments in current forms of mobility, but imagining completely new solutions that make a complete break with today.“This is the direction we are heading in, and this is why we are building ties with outstanding research centers like Harvard and the MIT in Boston, with whom we share a common interest in these important issues. Like us, these centers are imagining the forms of mobility that will spread round the world over the next ten years, especially in major cities, with a focus on key issues like pollution rates and future developments in mobility demand.“We want to be part of this effort, side by side with these important research centers, to analyze our activities for the next ten years and make the most of our presence in the USA: not just our sales branch in Manhattan, but above all the Piaggio Advanced Design Centre in Pasadena, California.”2014 Piaggio MP3 Scooter – Figures for the MarketThe French market is by far the most important market for the Piaggio Mp3, not just because of the typical commuting model in the Paris area (the banlieues, the boulevard périphérique), but also because French users have always had great affection for the GT scooter model.For example, there is little demand in France for high-wheel scooters like the Piaggio Beverly, the Aprilia Scarabeo, or the Honda SH.Since its launch (at the end of 2006), a total of 150,000 Piaggio Mp3 scooters have been sold. Of the total, almost 70,000 have been bought in France.For the Piaggio three-wheel scooter, the most important markets after France are, in order: Germany, Italy, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands.The Piaggio Mp3 is the number one GT scooter in: – Europe as a whole – France with a 29.1% share of the GT scooter segment – Germany with a 24.4% share of the GT scooter segment – The UK with a 15.9% share of the GT scooter segmentPiaggio on the European Market as a Whole– The Piaggio Group is the outright leader, with a share of more than 15% of the continental market. – The Piaggio Group is the leader in the scooter segment, with more than 26% of the continental market. – The Group achieved a 6% increase in its European market share in the quarter from January to March 2014 compared with the first three months of 2013. – From 2008 to 2013, the Piaggio Group European market share increased from 25.4% to 26.1%. – In scooters, the Piaggio Group is the European leader (with a share of more than 26%) and number one in Italy (31.6%), Germany (35.6%), France (22.9%), Spain (20.6%), Belgium (24.3%), Netherlands (26.8%).
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.