ROME — Piaggio-owned Aprilia and German motorcycle manufacturer BMW have signed a contract to co-design and produce a new line of two-wheeler.
“Cooperation with a company as well-established as BMW assists us in the further development of new technologies,” Rocco Sabelli, CEO of Piaggio & C. SpA, said March 10. Sabelli announced the signing of the contract during the unveiling of the new Vespa LX series.
Roberto Colaninno, Piaggio group chairman, said the Italian manufacturer looks forward to the development deal between its Aprilia unit and BMW’s motorcycle division.
“The accord reached with BMW Motorrad is confirmation of Aprilia’s great name and efficiency in the field of technology and design,” he said. “Beyond that, it is a significant step forward towards Aprilia’s complete economic recovery, one of the most important names and constructors of motorcycles in Italy and Europe since it was acquired by Piaggio.”
BMW says only that the contract refers to a future supply of products which are not included in current BMW production. The new products will be manufactured in the Aprilia factories in Noale and Scorze’ near Venice.
“This is a further widening of BMW’s range of motorcycles and doesn’t regard the current single-cylinders,” Herbert Diess, president of BMW Motorrad, said in a prepared statement. “This cooperation represents an important opportunity to strengthen the European motorcycle industry and its suppliers.”
“Our country is a privileged market for BMW because it buys here almost one fourth of motorcycle-related components (Euro 60 million) as well as Euro 360 million worth of Italian car components,” Sabelli said.
Aprilia manufactured the first version of the BMW F 650 from 1993 to 1999, before BMW switched manufacturing of the following version to the company’s sole motorcycle factory in Berlin.
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