Aprilia and Moto Guzzi's new UK boss is promising hot deals, new bikes and an expanded dealer network to build the Italian brands in Britain.
Massimo Granata is the new UK General Manager of AWS (Aprilia World Service) - which covers both Aprilia and Moto Guzzi. Now they are part of the Piaggio Group there are big plans for more new models by the end of 2006.
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Granata added: “My plans for Moto Guzzi will see us establish a UK-wide dealer network. We used to have a core of 17-18 Moto Guzzi dealers in the UK, and in the first quarter of 2006 we managed to open nine new dealers. I will be looking to grow this to a maximum of 35/38 by 2007."
Guzzi were boosted by news that Ewan McGregor bought the first Griso to arrive at his local dealership.
A 0% finance deal is also aiding Guzzi sales. Later in the summer there will be a special offer to new owners of one particular model who will get a free, all expenses paid trip to the famous Mandello del Lario factory and museum on Lake Como, he says.
The Griso will be followed by the California Vintage and the Norge 1200. At the end of March, Moto Guzzi invited MCN to its Mandello del Lario factory to test its new model range - including the California. See our reviews in forthcoming issues. The Norge launch is scheduled for the end of April.
"More new models and engines are being forecast for the end of 2006 and 2007 – I cannot be more specific now but I would suggest watching this space very closely in the future," he said.
“So far the first quarter results are very encouraging with a sell out increase of about 54% over the same period last year for Moto Guzzi and with definite signs of recovery from Aprilia,” says Granata.
In the past six months, Aprilia launched five new models, the RSV1000, Tuono MY06, RS125, and Pegaso 650 Strada and Enduro. It is also delivering the long awaited off-road machines, the SVX and MVX, and it has plans for three more new models, the small RS50 and the SX/RX50 for the small geared market.
“The Tuono is a sell-out. The RS125 is also doing well and the RSV1000 is getting great press reviews,” claims Granata.
Aprilia has announced it will launch 18 new bikes between now and 2008, including a new 1000cc sports bike for WSB.
“We forecast a growth of around 20% over last year with the target to start increasing our dealer network number up to 115/120 dealers."
50cc scooter sales will be boosted by subsidised insurance and there are 0% finance deals for any scooter of 125 and over. Currently, all Aprilia motorcycles of 650cc and over also enjoy 0% finance.
“The technical and spare parts support services are now cross brands and they will soon be unified in the brand new offices on the edge of the M25. The technical department will have a full training centre with all the state of the art equipment to provide training to all the dealers of the group,” said Granata.
Massimo takes over from Giuseppe Tranchina, who has moved on to become Aprilia's European Sales Director.
Massimo first joined Aprilia as Business Development Manager to 40 dealers in Italy in 1997. In January 2001 he moved to the UK to organise and improve Aprilia’s after-sales support and strategies. By the end of 2002 Massimo was responsible for field marketing and operations.