The Piaggio Group

The two-wheeler Business Unit

In 2009, the Piaggio Group sold a total of 410,300 units in the two-wheeler segment (-12.8% compared to 2008), with a net turnover of 1,065.4 ML € (-9.8%), including spare parts and accessories, net of turnover from motor sales of 4.2 million €. The Piaggio Group confirmed its leadership position in the European scooter market in 2009.
As pointed out in previous paragraphs, the Piaggio Group’s performance in 2009 was strongly penalised by declining demand on the Italian, European and North American markets. The decrease affected both the scooter and the motorcycle sector. The results achieved in Asia were very satisfactory, where, mainly thanks to the success of the new Vespa production facility in Vietnam, sales volumes and turnover went up by 61.8% and 85.9%, respectively.

Change %


Sell in (units/ ‘000) 
Sell in (units/ ‘000) 

Europe (Europe+ MEA)213547.2267.5647-20.4%-15.4%-54.5-99.7
Asia Pacific36.983.922.845.261.8%85.9%14.138.8


Spare parts
and Accessories






The two-wheeler product range

The Piaggio, Vespa and Gilera brands, comprising an extensive range of products that already conform to Euro 3 standards can meet the needs of all client brackets on the scooter market.

The two models with the highest sales in 2009 were the Vespa LX (73 thousand units sold) and the Piaggio Liberty (45 thousand units sold) followed in third place by the Vespa GTS (29 thousand units), in fourth place by the Piaggio Beverly (26 thousand units) and in fifth place by the MP3 (nearly 24 thousand units).

In the scooter sector, the most important event for the Piaggio Group in 2009 was the unveiling of its hybrid MP3, the world’s first scooter powered by two powerplants (an internal combustion engine and an electric motor), demonstrating the Piaggio Group’s strong commitment to environmental concerns. To support and introduce the innovative drivetrain to the market, the MP3 was selected as the most technologically advanced vehicle of the entire range.

The Group also took important steps in upgrading its drivetrains.
As from the first half of 2009, nearly all over 50cc engines have electronic injection in order to guarantee a better power delivery, reduced consumption and fewer emissions.
The new 300 drivetrain, guaranteeing a better performance, was extended to the Group’s most important vehicles. The 50 4 stroke 4 valve engine was also introduced on several models, taking the range to a premium level in racing.

In particular the Piaggio brand presented its “Cruiser 300” version of the Carnaby model in 2009, with top-quality standard fittings, including numerous chrome items and attention to details, making it a “high-wheel” range product.

In the GT segment, the Piaggio brand renewed its product range with significant modifications to the X7 model, introducing the 300 engine and electronic injection for its 125 version.

Electronic injection versions were also introduced for the Vespa brand, on its 125 and 150 models of the Vespa LX and the 50cc 4 stroke 4 valve engine was also fitted on these models. The sports version of the Vespa GTS Super 300 was extended to the 125cc model.

The Scarabeo brand got a competitive boost with its “Special” version, fitted with a 300 engine and numerous items to enhance the sporting design of the vehicle.
The Scarabeo was the first scooter with dual electronic mapping on the 125/150cc models, to adapt vehicle performance to client needs.

2009 was the year of the RSV4 for Aprilia motorcycles, the most important project in the recent history of the brand representing its core values of a sporting nature, performance, competitiveness and technology. The new supersports bike will turn the brand into a world leader in motorcycles, both on the track and markets. The first deliveries of the Factory version - a faithful reproduction of the motorcycle ridden by Max Biaggi in the SBK world championships achieving results that were far better than expected - were made in May. In October, the R version arrived, intended to increase the number of RSV4 clients, thanks to a better accessibility without foregoing any features compared to the more sophisticated Factory version.
In the first half of 2009, more touring-oriented versions of the Mana and Shiver models were unveiled, offering a greater versatility and designed to meet the needs of medium distance touring, also with passenger and luggage on board.
During the second half of the year, the off road range was completed, with the launch of the MXV 4.5. 2009 was the first full year of the Dorsoduro model, with excellent results, as it was the top selling motorcycle in the Aprilia range, with 3,500 units sold.

The emea distribution network

At an EMEA level, the Piaggio Group had 13,400 operators at the end of 2009, divided as follows:

  • approximately 11,100 operators on European markets, with a direct commercial presence, of which more than 2,500 in Italy and more than 8,600 in other primary European markets (France, Spain, Germany, UK, Benelux, Croatia and Greece);
  • approximately 2,300 on markets managed by importers, of which approximately 50% in Europe, 25% in Africa and the remaining 25% in the Middle East.

More than 1,200 of these operators (approximately 10%) are exclusive dealers of the Group’s brands (with around 500 Group mono brand dealers and approximately 740 Group multi-brand dealers, while the remaining 12,100 operate as multi-franchises).

In overall terms, the 360,000 plus units sold to end clients in the EMEA were from more than 17,500 sales outlets broken down as follows: approximately 4,400 in Italy, approximately 10,500 in Domestic Europe, approximately 300 in Greece and Croatia and approximately 2,400 on markets managed by importers.

The strategy to rationalise and consolidate the Group’s sales network continued in 2009, based on two approaches:

  1. exploiting and capitalising on the Group’s synergies (according to a distribution model which is more end customer driven and divided into two areas: urban mobility and sport & passion)
  2. consolidating performance and the quality of the distribution network, based on the following priority actions: improving network coverage, the sales and financial performance of dealers, developing services and support-oriented management tools.

La rete distributiva emea

As a result, the distribution network of the Group’s various brands, evolved as follows:

  • Piaggio Vespa Gilera network dealers went up from 1,774 to 1,814 (thanks above all to work to improve network coverage on foreign domestic Europe markets)
  • the Aprilia network benefited from important Group synergies at a distribution level (in particular in Germany and Spain), with the number of dealers going up from 757 to 892
  • the Moto Guzzi network began a process to rationalise and consolidate commercial and financial areas, with the number of dealers going down from 357 to 275 (on all EMEA markets)
  • the Derbi network began to benefit from integration within the Group’s networks, within the number of dealers going up from 335 to 376 (with a particular focus on Italy and Greece).

The Commercial Vehicles Business Unit

Change %Change
 Vol.Turnover Vol.Turnover 
  Sell in
(units/ ‘000) 
  Sell in
(units/ ‘000) 
     (ML€)     (ML€) Vol. Turnover Vol. Turnover
Spare parts and Accessories 
Total India181.7286.8158.924414.3%17.5%22.842.8
Spare parts and Accessories 
Total Euroe15.7134.719.2145.4-18.4%-7.4%-3.5-10.7
Quargo/Ape Truk11.134.711.840.9-5.5%-15.2%-0.6-6.2
Spare parts and Accessories 




The Commercial Vehicles Division closed 2009 with 197.4 thousand units sold, a 10.8% increase with respect to 2008 volumes, while turnover increased from 389.4 ML € in 2008 to 421.5 ML € in 2009, a change of 8.2%. Turnover generated in Europe reached 134.7 ML € while India recorded 286.8 ML €.

On the European market, Piaggio sold 15,660 units. Turnover decreased from 145.4 ML € in 2008 to 134.7 ML € in 2009. The sales trend for the Porter was positive, from 7,295 units in 2008 to 7,431 in 2009, with a 1.9% change in a European market characterised by a marked downturn. In the cab van reference segment, the share of the Porter on markets increased from 3.7% in 2008 to 6.1% in 2009.

As regards activities for the product range, the new Porter was unveiled in April 2009, with the petrol version and Ecosolution version featuring eco-friendly low environmental impact engines. In September 2009, the new Porter Maxxi and 100% electric Porter Electric Power were introduced.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Porter has a restyled exterior, modern style and new fittings, plus new components and technical characteristics, including EPS - Electric Power Steering - for smoother handling. In December 2009, the Ape Calessino Electric Lithium - the three-wheeler for passengers with a vintage style and 100% electric motor was unveiled.

On the Indian three-wheeler market, Piaggio Vehicles continued to consolidate its position as a top market player and leader. Sales of three-wheeler vehicles went up from 149,275 units in 2008 to 171,654 in 2009, registering an increase of 15.0%. A more detailed analysis of the market reveals that Piaggio Vehicles consolidated its position as market leader within the Cargo sector for the transportation of goods.
Thanks in particular to the Piaggio Apé 501 and its wide range of possible customisations, Piaggio Vehicles achieved a market share of 55.9%. The market share in the Passenger segment also stayed solid, achieving 37.3%. Sales on the four-wheeler Light Commercial Vehicles market also increased. Sales of the Apé Truk went up from 9,648 units in 2008 to 10,069 in 2009.

Research and development

The Piaggio Group carries out research into and the development of new products and technologically advanced solutions for its vehicles and engines at its production sites in Pontedera, Noale, Mandello del Lario, Barcelona, Baramati and Hanoi.
In 2009 the Piaggio Group continued its policy of achieving technological leadership in the industry, allocating a total of 70.0 ML € to R&D, of which 46.6 ML € capitalised as development costs under intangible assets. R&D activities particularly concerned new vehicles and new engines and above all ecological ones.

Research and Development Projects

Under the 2007 Budget, article 1, paragraphs 280 - 284, tax credits are granted to support resident businesses that carry out “industrial research and pre-competitive development”. The tax relief concerns costs borne during the 2007-2008-2009 tax periods.
During 2009, by booking resources (the so-called “click day”) tax credits within limits allowed by law were used for activities in the period.

In millions of euroCapitalisedCostsTotalCapitalisedCostsTotal
Two-wheeler Vehicles29.620.950.535.821.657.4
Commercial Vehicles172.519.513.6215.6

R&D projects funded by the Ministry for Economic Development (MSE)

In 2009, as part of the national “Industria 2015” programme and following pre-selection, Piaggio submitted an application in the “Made in Italy” call for tender, for funding for its
“DE.TECH, DEsign cfd and design TECHnologies project: an integrated platform for motorcycles manufactured in Italy” project. The project entails costs of over EUR 7 million
at its Pontedera and Noale sites during 2010/12, with Piaggio leading 10 industrial partners and universities.
The Group received a grant of EUR 926 thousand, for costs borne in 2005/2006 for the “Innovative, high performance Maxi scooter for a global market” project, after a wait of several years due to a lack of funds from the government.

R&D projects financed by the Ministry for Education and Research (MIUR) 

The Mid2R project on injection systems of conventional and natural gas engines (funding of EUR 6 million) is underway. During 2009 the first prototypes of bifuel vehicles and the
first 4 stroke direct injection engine were developed.
Technical activities for the Eureka One project neared completion in 2009, in line with specifications (definition of two high performance, low environmental impact multicylinder
engines). At the same time reporting was carried out and in February 2009, for the first interim payment certificate, a grant of EUR 529 thousand, in addition to EUR 1,146 of financing, was received.
Activities for the “6030” project on chassis architecture were completed during the year, with reporting on activities during 2006 and 2007 and relative payment of allocated funding (a grant of EUR 563 thousand and a subsidised loan of EUR 2,976).
Moreover, a successful application was made for the “Mo. Bi.” project on hybrid powered motor vehicles, for a call for tender from the Veneto Region.

European R&D projects

In 2009 Piaggio continued work on European projects financed as part of the 6th and 7th Framework Programme, on road safety improvements for motorcyclists. In addition it was involved in the VERITAS project on the development of design tools for elderly and disabled users.

Important projects were completed in 2009 or are still ongoing, including:

  • The integrated APROSYS project for the study and development of advanced passive safety systems for terrestrial vehicles (cars, motorcycles, heavy vehicles).
    The main outcome of the Aprosys - SP4 “Motorcycle Accidents” subproject was the study of the activation system of passive safety devices for motorcycles (airbags and wearable devices) by simulations and experimental crash tests between cars and motorcycles. The project was successfully completed in March 2009.
  • The Safespot project (an “Integrated Project”), which studies communication between vehicles on the road and infrastructures, in order to increase the safety of road users, informing them beforehand of risks and dangers on the road.
    During the second year of the project, the vehicle hardware and software architecture to use in functional tests, scheduled for the second half of 2009, were defined.
    Given the scale of the project, times were extended and activities will end in early 2010.
  • The SIM “Safety In Motion” project, led by Piaggio, was successfully completed in November 2009, with the final event held at the Piaggio Foundation Museum (Museo della Fondazione Piaggio). During this final event, the results achieved by Piaggio and its partners in the field of active, passive and preventive safety, used on a functioning prototype fitted with an advanced braking system (three channel ABS), semi-active suspension and a combined passive safety system (front airbag and inflatable jacket) and innovative man-machine interface were presented to the public.
  • • The Saferider project, which began in January 2008 as part of the 7th Framework Programme, on studies to improve the Man-Vehicle Interface (HMI) which take into consideration market requests (mainly linked to Infotainment such as GPS, mp3, mobile phone, interphone…) and safety needs (e-safety and namely driving aid systems), is still underway.
  • • The eSUM project, approved by the Directorate General for Energy and Transport of the European Commission.
  • Piaggio is working on this project with the local authorities of major European cities (Rome, Paris, London, Athens, Barcelona) on demonstrations of results achieved in other safety and sustainable urban mobility projects (prototypes of the SIM project and hybrid vehicles). The project is ongoing and will continue throughout 2010
  • • The VERITAS project in which Piaggio aims to integrate virtual tools for ergonomic analysis in its design environment, to develop a mathematical dummy model representing standard as well as elderly and disabled users.
    The project was approved in 2009 and will commence in January 2010, lasting for 3 years


Pontedera Plants

Two-wheeler Facilities

The industrialisation of a new integral shaft for the Dorsoduro 1200cc engine began as part of technological steel processing, and operations were carried out to add new grinding areas for engine shaft lines and cam axles.
The industrialisation of the Dorsoduro 1200cc engine began, as part of engine assembly processes, with the first pre-series production. Fitting facilities for the mass production of the new HYBRID engine and MP3 Hybrid vehicles were completed. Re-layout works for Vespa welding equipment began for workshop 9, with the replacement of a worn robot. Major non-routine maintenance works on the plant main electrical cabin were also completed.

Commercial Vehicles Plant

Fitting facilities for the manufacture of the Porter with new multiTEC 1300cc petrol and BTC 1200cc diesel engines got underway and are near completion.

Scorzè Plant

Fitting facilities for the mass production of the DORSODURO 1200cc motorcycle began.

Mandello Del Lario Plant

Initial restructuring works began for the second stage of the ARROCCO project, while requalification planning and design for the entire second stage has been contracted out.

Baramati Plant

All building and plant works necessary to manufacture the LEADER 125cc and 1200cc BTC DIESEL engines have been completed. The process to decide on the manufacture of LEADER engines is underway.

Hanoi Plant

Production facilities manufactured the first 25,000 VESPA vehicles with internal welding, plate cataphoresis, bodywork and plastics painting, laboratories and quality control, warehouses, assembly and testing.

WCM Project

Operations continued to increase the number of Word Class Manufacturing work sites. At present 39 sites are open, in four sectors: L-Logistic, LM-Lean Manufacturing, PQ-Production Quality, S-Safety; of these 17 have been completed.
The work sites are located transversally with respect to production facilities and allow for continual improvement on all specified areas and an objectification of all attained results.

Environmental Certification and Safety at the Workplace

In April, a check-up was implemented by DNV on all ISO 14001:2004 environmental certification processes as well as on all BS OHSAS 18001:2007 occupational safety processes.
Testing activities, including detailed audits of facilities in Pontedera, Noale and Scorzè, had a positive outcome.