Innovative additions to Italian manufacturer’s motorcycle and scooter lines result in strong 2008 growth and plenty of expansion opportunity for 2009
NEW YORK – March 6, 2009 – Aprilia USA, the U.S. importer and distributor of innovative, technology-driven motorcycles and scooters, finished 2008 with strong sales gains across its expanding product range. The company sold 66.4 % more bikes and scooters to customers in the U.S. market, spurred by the addition of four all-new motorcycles, three fresh scooter models and continued strengthening of its dealer network. Along with plenty of new product arriving from the Noale, Italy based factory, Aprilia USA also continued to add racing successes to its long list of championships, such as the U.S. company’s second consecutive MOTO-ST road race championship and first place in the 2008 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 750cc category.
For 2009, company executives see more opportunity. “Our 2008 sales results are remarkable, especially in light of overall declining motorcycle industry sales,” says Gary Pietruszewski, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Piaggio Group Americas. “Much of our success can be attributed to a broader product range in dealer showrooms. For 2009 we expect to continue sales growth, thanks to new product like the much-anticipated RSV4 superbike and continued expansion of the dealer network. Add our new Aprilia Adventure demo program, new race teams competing in the AMA Daytona SportBike series and Aprilia’s return to World Superbike racing, and you have all the ingredients for a very exciting year.” Aprilia’s U.S. motorcycle sales rose over 19 percent, fueled by new introductions like the company’s first-ever mid-size V-Twin, the SL 750 Shiver.
Industry accolades for the Shiver include its superior rideability, all-day comfort and signature technical innovations, such as its unique tri-map ride-by-wire system. Also contributing to Aprilia’s success in the USA during 2008 was the mid-year introduction of the Aprilia 850 Mana, featuring a leading-edge multi-shift-mode transmission that puts both auto-drive or manual-style shifting options at the rider’s disposal. The track-only GP-inspired RS 125, represented an all-new option for enthusiasts looking for a cost-efficient and super-fun option to hone riding skills on a closed course.
These newcomers bolstered an already formidable Aprilia motorcycle lineup, which includes the two time Moto ST champion the RSV 1000 R and it’s naked companion the Tuono 1000 R. The V-twin Supermoto style SXV models continued their winning ways in the AMA Pro Supermoto series and added many club level road race wins and a few championships to their racing resume. The recently introduced 750 Dorsoduro will continue to build on the Aprilia Supermoto dominance by offering a larger, much more street-oriented machine which incorporates Aprilia’s world championship Supermoto racing DNA. Aprilia scooter sales doubled over the 12-month period as a result of robust consumer demand for fuel-efficient transportation options.
Aprilia scooters are some of the most technically advanced scoters on the market including the race inspired SR 50 R with a direct fuel injected engine and the classically styled Scarabeo 200 with linked braking. For 2009 Aprilia’s ultimate urban scooter, the SportCity 250, is joined by two additional family members, the SportCity 50 and SportCity 125. Both are top performers within their respective displacement categories. U.S. Dealer Network and Brand Development Focus Continues in 2009 Aprilia’s U.S. dealer network again grew in 2008, with more than 170 retailers representing the brand in key U.S. markets by the end of the year.
Retail network development continues to be a focus for the company throughout 2009 as Aprilia sharpens its brand focus, thanks to the current crop of new models emerging from the company’s Italian design studio. Under the leadership of design chief Miguel Galuzzi, highly anticipated new motorcycles like the RSV4 superbike – already getting great advance accolades – are expected to raise Aprilia’s technology leader profile and racing heritage even further.
The company will also focus its 2009 marketing programs on reaching serious enthusiast customers. New programs like the Aprilia Adventure matches enthusiasts with the latest machines on lengthy real-world demo rides, an essential experience for evaluating the bikes’ technical innovations. While other companies are reducing their racing expenditure in the USA, Aprilia will leverage their global racing heritage by competing in the new AMA Daytona SportBike series with the Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Team and riders Ben Thompson and Chaz Davies.
Aprilia will also be competing in the World Superbike races at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah this year with four-time world champion Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano racing the RSV4. Race enthusiast will also see Aprilia in action at the prestigious Indianapolis Speedway when the 125 and 250 Moto GP series return to this historic location this summer. About Aprilia and Piaggio Group Americas Aprilia world headquarters are in Noale (Venice, Italy).
Founded in 1962, the company designs and manufactures motorcycles in Noale, with production facilities in Scorzè. With 38 motorcycling world championship titles (32 road and 6 off-road) under its belt, Aprilia is the only European manufacturer to have a complete on- and off-road model portfolio, ranging from sporty scooters, innovative off-road bikes and tough adventure tourers to award-winning super sport bikes.
For information on Aprilia’s complete U.S. model line, visit the company’s website at http://www.apriliausa.com. In December 2004 Aprilia became part of the Piaggio Group, Europe’s leading manufacturer of two wheelers and one of the world’s most recognized and respected names in motorcycle and scooter production.