You probably think of Piaggio purely for its scooters, but no other manufacturer in the world has as many bike-building off-shoots.
The deal with MV Agusta means the company, run by Stefano Rosselli Del Turco, now owns seven brands. They are:
The scooter market is seen as the bread and butter of Piaggio and it will continue to use the badge for scooters, including a big-bore model. A V-twin, 850cc twist-and-go
scooter is on the cards.
Piaggio sees this legendary scooter style icon in the same light as Harley-Davidson and plans to fully capitalise on the brand. In America, Vespa sold more than 7000 machines last year, cornering a fifth of the U.S. scooter market. It has 30 Vespa boutiques and is planning to open more.
A complete range of Vespa clothing is planned, with riding kit as well as fashion wear. The style of the actual bikes will remain unchanged.
MV Agustas will still be made in their current factory in Varese. Castiglioni will have control and, with an injection of Piaggio cash thanks to its acquisition of 10-15 per cent in shares, production will speed up. The bikes will be distributed through the existing Piaggio network all over the world apart from Italy, where Castiglioni will distribute them.
You’ll still find this name on small-capacity race replicas, scooters and off-roaders and all will be built in Spain. The firm will continue to run a 125 GP team.
Piaggio has no plans to use the Cagiva name. It’s likely that Claudio Castiglioni will keep the rights to the name, but Piaggio could impose a contract clause on when he can start to produce new bikes. The Gileras will be built on Cagiva’s current production lines.
Take its share of MV out of the equation and this will be Piaggio’s flagship brand, and the only one to compete in the big bike market. To raise its profile, Piaggio has already announced it intends to expand its GP racing effort to include a Gilera-badged MotoGP four-stroke challenger. The first Gileras, including the Supersport 600, will go into production in the autumn and a steady flow of new models is expected annually.
There are no plans to change this brand at all, but Piaggio is going to be pushing it harder in the motocross-mad U.S. Don’t expect any new models here, but distribution will be improved through Piaggio’s dealer network.