Bologna (Italy), 26.3.2009 – The European Powered Two-wheeler industry will ask the European Commission and EU member states for same treatment as car industry.
Gathering for their annual General Assembly hosted by Ducati in Bologna, Italy, ACEM, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, urged for similar measures to those devised for the car sector to be applied to the powered two-wheeler industry in order to defy the economic crisis.
The General Assembly also unanimously confirmed Mr Pierer as President of ACEM for another two-year term and welcomed two new Members: BRP, manufacturer of a new concept of road tricycle, with an engine factory located in Austria, and ARGE2RAD, the Austrian Association of PTW manufacturers and distributors.
Recently, the European Commission announced initiatives and instruments to fight the downturn in the automotive sector. Due to its similarities to the car sector, the PTW industry should be entitled to the same benefits. The PTW sector needs the same urgent and drastic measures aimed at preventing a prolonged period of recession, supporting manufacturing and continuing to drive forward the environmental goals that are shared by policy makers and manufacturers.
The Communication on the European automotive industry, presented on February 25th by the European Commission, clearly shows the need for urgent action and lists various options and tools. Inclusion of powered two-wheelers in the scope of the European Commission’s measures to respond to the crisis in the automotive sector would secure the future of an otherwise healthy and innovating industry.
Stefan Pierer, ACEM President and CEO of Austrian manufacturer KTM Sport Motorcycles, stated: “By identifying a series of tools and measures to support the automotive sector, the EU has shown its ability to act in times of crisis. Not unlike the car sector, the motorcycle industry is experiencing the same kind of problems and, despite our lesser size, we need the same kind of tools if are to successfully overcome this downturn”.
European Member States must tackle the PTW industry’s problems with the same determination applied to the car sector. Viable businesses and jobs are at stake in the motorcycle industry as well, which is being hit by the current economic crisis with new registrations down by 8% in 2008 and poor forecasts for 2009. These figures partially hide the significant -34% contraction (-42% for mopeds and -28% for motorcycles) of the last quarter of 2008 over the same period of 2007. This dramatic drop has been confirmed by the January 2009 registrations showing a further negative signal in major PTW markets in the range of -40%. In this context scrapping schemes aimed at supporting the demand for new vehicles and benefiting cleaner and safer mobility should be introduced.
“Another pressing issue to resolve – concluded Mr Pierer – remains the limited access to credit due to the non-functioning of the financial market. Action must be now taken without further delay to lift bureaucratic barriers and speed up implementation at national level. A coordinated European policy would not only ensure more fairness and respect for EU competition rules but – more importantly – greater efficiency in a single, European market”.
Mr Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati President and CEO, said: “As one of ACEM’s founding members Ducati is honoured to have hosted the General Assembly on the occasion of ACEM’s 15th Anniversary. Ducati has believed from the beginning in the necessity of uniting forces to achieve common goals but at the same time putting forward a strong image of the motorcycle industry which stands for excitement, innovation and industrial excellence. In spite of the economic challenges ahead, we will continue with the same passion and commitment to work together within ACEM for the wellbeing of the motorcycle sector in Europe”.
Last December ACEM announced a set of initiatives based on innovation, safety and environmental performance ensuring that the motorcycles and scooters of tomorrow will respond the future social needs and sustainability requirements while continuing to represent an exciting and convenient mobility tool.
NEW YORK, March 19, 2009 – How far would you go for your bro? In the new Paramount Pictures comedy “I Love You, Man” Peter Klaven (actor Paul Rudd) and Sydney Fife (actor Jason Segel) raise that benchmark to hilarious new heights. As the two buddies test and stretch the boundaries of friendship in adventure after adventure, they’re aided and abetted by a Vespa LXV 150. On-screen, the Vespa is a fun and fuel efficient friend. In the real world, every Vespa is also a great companion for more serious pursuits, such as combating traffic congestion, energy consumption and harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
Leading up to the movie’s opening on March 20, fans have the opportunity to win the Vespa LXV 150 that was used by Segel in the movie, by entering the “I Love You, Man – How Far Would You Go For Your Bro Comment Contest” on MySpace. Long-suffering friends are invited to submit their favorite example of just what length they went to for a pal by March 20. The best tale of woe will qualify to win the Vespa. In addition, Paramount Pictures created an exclusive poster featuring the Vespa LXV for fans to download from the Vespa website.
Whether traveling solo, with a best friend or a significant other, consumers will be hard-pressed to find a better partner than a Vespa. Combining stylish Italian form with premium quality and function, Vespas get up to 100 miles per gallon and save owners an average of $6000 per year versus driving a mid-size sedan. Add a twist-n-go automatic transmission and the ability to park a Vespa in the smallest of spaces and it’s the most accommodating friend you’ll ever have. For more information visit www.VespaUSA.com.
About The Piaggio Group:
With about 7,000 employees, an annual production of more than 680,700 vehicles in 2007, 5 R&D centers, 7 production facilities in Europe and Asia, and operations in over 50 countries, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European 2 wheeler market. Its production includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200 cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Scarabeo and Moto Guzzi brands.
2008 Aprilia Scarabeo Scooters:
An Authentic Italian Experience, Sized to Suit
Signature styling, big wheel safety, class leading features and unbeatable value distinguish Aprilia’s Scarabeo 500 and – new for 2008 – the 200 and 100
NEW YORK (March 25, 2008) – With more than 750,000 Aprilia Scarabeo scooters sold during the last 15 years, this model line is a household word among style and value-conscious Europeans. Now, in addition to the Scarabeo 500 i.e., Aprilia has added two new Scarabeo models to its portfolio, the Scarabeo 100 and 200. Whether they have a taste for the “big bike” cruising qualities of a large 500cc scooter or prefer a smaller machine, American riders will find the right size within this popular Italian family. Ready for any challenge, whether it involves in-town errands, cross-town commutes or out-of-town distance rides, these “automatic motorcycles” are the definition of authentic style, performance, premium quality and unparalleled value.
Scooters: Practical Mobility, Style and Substance
Practical mobility is a characteristic unique to scooters. Fully automatic and easy to ride, scooters combine the fun and freedom of motorcycling with the convenience and practicality of a fully automatic scooter. While the Scarabeo 500 i.e. appeals to riders who want a high level of performance and long-distance riding capability, the smaller Scarabeo 200 and 100 models are ideal for easily nipping through congested city centers or crowded suburban shopping areas and school zones. They also offer easy maneuverability at parking lot speeds – a real bonus for first-time or less experienced riders. With their low center of gravity, grippy 16″ tires and extremely light but strong chassis, the Scarabeo 100 and 200 are a confidence-building platform for any rider just getting started – or a supremely comfortable, and exhilarating ride for seasoned riders. Add a superior price/value relationship, deluxe finish and class-leading build quality and Aprilia’s Scarabeo models dominate their category.
Arriving now in dealers: the 2008 Scarabeo 200 is a Joy Ride with Amazing Utility
The Scarabeo 200 is chock-full of great ideas. A flat platform provides added space for load carrying. A windshield fixed to the steering head channels air flow over the rider, guaranteeing turbulence-free travel and surprising weather protection, even at high speed. Generous analog-digital instrumentation includes an on-board computer with handlebar controls. The system’s many functions include outside air temperature display with ice warning for the hardiest of scooteristi. Even the center stand has been carefully designed to afford the best possible leverage-now every rider will find that lifting his or her Scarabeo on to its stand is a quick, strain-free experience.
The aluminum luggage rack provides the perfect surface for fitting a secure and handy top box (an optional dealer installed accessory). True to Aprilia quality, the Scarabeo 200 features tasteful use of chrome and “big bike” features like direction indicators integrated in the handlebars. These and many other clever details combine to make the Scarabeo a scooter that celebrates Italian style and ingenuity without sacrificing an iota of utility and convenience.
The heart of the Scarabeo 200 is an advanced single cylinder four stroke engine, designed by Aprilia exclusively for the Scarabeo. It is lightweight, eco-friendly and packs an impressive 19 hp at 8250 rpm, with generous torque (12.5 lb./ft at 7500 rpm). That makes the Scarabeo 200 the most powerful scooter in its class. All this power is available without sacrificing fuel consumption or low emissions, the Scarabeo runs both fast and clean. One of the ways Aprilia achieved this dynamic package is by optimizing valve timing in the same way engineers tune the company’s high performance racing engines. As a result, engineers were able to combine high peak power and good midrange punch with low emissions.
Designed for Safety and Comfort
The new Scarabeo 200 is designed to maintain all the unique features that make the Scarabeo a showroom success around the world, without losing sight of the easy rideability, advanced performance and safety that characterize all Aprilia products. These defining values are engineered into the very soul of the new Scarabeo, making it agile, extremely safety-conscious and more than able to deliver thrilling motorcycle style handling where road conditions permit.
An exceptionally rigid and robust new high strength steel frame and carefully setup suspension deliver maximum feel and a super-smooth ride. The front fork is a 35mm hydraulic unit. At the rear, the engine and transmission assembly acts as swingarm, with the assistance of an aluminum reaction arm. Simple, lightweight, yet effective, this solution incorporates shock absorbers that let you adjust preload to four different settings to adapt the bike to varying loads and riding styles.
The refined wheels are fitted with 16″ high-wall tubeless tires (100/80 at the front, 120/80 at the rear). This combination is not only perfect for negotiating the hazards of city roads but also makes the new Scarabeo amazingly stable and intuitive to ride for expert and novice riders alike.
Superb brakes are an Aprilia hallmark, and the new Scarabeo 200 is no exception. The front wheel features a 260 mm disc and a floating caliper with three parallel pistons, while the rear wheel is equipped with a 220 mm disc and two piston calipers. The front and rear wheels are linked by a new integral braking system that distributes braking force between the two wheels and guarantees ultra-short, worry-free stopping distances.
The Scarabeo 200 is available at Aprilia dealerships nationwide for $3599. Color choices include Couture Blue and Shine Red.
New for 2008: The Scarabeo 100 Offers Same Great Family Values in a Smaller Size
For anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of scootering in a smaller size, the 2008 Aprilia Scarabeo 100 is the perfect answer. Despite its smaller displacement four-stroke engine, the Scarabeo 100 still delivers plenty of punch off the line, with great acceleration and performance for around-town jaunts. The Scarabeo 100 also has all the premium features and conveniences that are a Scarabeo family standard. Even storage capacity is generous, with a standard top box large enough to hold a helmet or groceries. It’s the kind of convenience that will inspire you to ride your Scarabeo whenever possible.
Specific improvements over previous small Scarabeo models include a new light design that improves both appearance and function. At the rear, the all-new tail lights employ the latest High-Visibility LED technology, which greatly enhances rider and passenger safety. Accessing this new technology gave Aprilia designers a chance to rethink how the lights should fit into the Scarabeo’s flowing lines, and now they contribute to the bike’s classic look. The headlight is new too, with a shaped nacelle leading to a revised nose fairing for improved aerodynamics. The instruments have been fully redesigned to reflect the overall Scarabeo style, and are complete – something not always found on “entry level” scooters.
The advanced chassis is one of the main factors in the Scarabeo success story. A high strength tubular steel reinforced frame ensures pace-setting agility and unrivalled stability for a 100cc scooter. The hydraulic fork permits 80 mm of front wheel travel while the rear suspension, based on a robust, adjustable hydraulic monoshock, has a full 82 mm of wheel travel as well.
Great-looking new wheels offer improved handling thanks to their lighter weight and reduced rotational inertia. The Scarabeo 100 steers easily, yet holds its line in corners. The tires are larger as well, offering impeccable stability. More tire also means more grip for braking, so active safety is enhanced in this area as well. Excellent brakes are a key safety component of course, and the Scarabeo doesn’t scrimp in this department. The front brake features a 220 mm disc and a caliper with two opposed pistons. The rear brake is a generous 140 mm durable drum for precise, controllable stopping.
The 2008 Scarabeo 100 is available at Aprilia dealers with a suggested MSRP of $2,699. Color choices include Unique Green and Shine Red.
2008 Scarabeo 500 i.e.: Category Leading Features and a Taste for Touring
The Scarabeo 500 i.e. returns in 2008 as the true “automatic motorcycle” in Aprilia’s scooter family. An elegant, technically advanced machine, the Scarabeo 500 i.e. combines all the advantages of a traditional motorcycle – such as safety, performance and riding thrills – with the easy riding character of a scooter.
Like all Aprilia’s, the Scarabeo 500 i.e. is weight-optimized and as a result is the lightest 500cc scooter in its class. The scooter also features one of the very best power to weight ratios in the market, which means lively acceleration, fast and safe passing capability and intuitively easy control. Classic Scarabeo features include a big 16″ front and 14″ inch rear tire for excellent stability, a powerful integral braking system, timeless Italian design with premium materials throughout and excellent fuel economy with low emissions.
Load carrying capacity plays a fundamental role when consumers choose a scooter, and the Scarabeo 500 i.e. is a champion when it comes to lugging “stuff.” Under-seat storage is large enough to hold a full-face helmet and other personal items. An additional lockable storage compartment is located in the back of the leg guard. An optional, lockable top box can also be added to the standard luggage rack. And, to help protect what riders bring with them, the Scarabeo 500 i.e. comes standard with an electronic anti-theft system – an industry first.
The 2008 Scarabeo 500 i.e. is available at Aprilia dealers with a suggested MSRP of $6,299. Color choices include Couture Blue and Shine Red.
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 additional production facilities in Scorzè. With 36 motorcycling world championship titles (30 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.
With approximately 7,000 employees, approximately 708,500 vehicles sold in 2007, 5 R&D centers, 7 production facilities in Europe and Asia , and operations in over 50 countries, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European 2 wheeler market. Its production includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200 cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Scarabeo and Moto Guzzi brands