The Piaggio Group made several updates and announcements regarding its Asian operations during a press conference in Mumbai, India, and subsequent press release Jan. 22.
In China in 2007, the Piaggio Group constructed more than 200,000 two-wheel vehicles at the Foshan facility run by the equally owned joint venture formed in 2004 with local partner Zongshen Group. The vehicles are produced under the Piaggio brand for distribution on the European market and on a co-branding basis with local partner Zongshen for the Chinese market.
In Vietnam, construction of a new facility has begun in the Hanoi area, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2009. The factory will produce Vespa scooters for the local market. The total investment amounts to $25 million-$30 million. Piaggio Group established a 100 percent controlled subsidiary, Piaggio Vietnam Co. Ltd. for the company’s operations in the country.
The group established the Piaggio Group Japan Corporation on Jan. 1, 2008, to oversee the company’s operations in Japan, strengthen Piaggio’s market position and balance the import and distribution of vehicles for all Group brands. The subsidiary will coordinate sales and marketing, taking a role similar to that of Piaggio Group Americas Inc. in North and South America.
In India, the Piaggio Group intends to strategically focus on two-wheeler production and marketing, maximizing technological innovation through development of eco-compatible engines delivering low emissions and reduced fuel consumption.
At the same time, the Group is conducting market analysis to verify the feasibility of launching two-wheel hybrid vehicles in India, presumably at the end of 2009 and early 2010.