Piaggio Plans to Enter U.S. ATV Market

ROME — Powersports manufacturer Piaggio & Co. SpA has plans to enter the North American ATV market with its Derbi brand, Powersports Business has learned.
Piaggio owns the Piaggio, Vespa, Derbi, Gilera, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Laverda brand names, and is best-known for products that include 50cc to 1000cc scooters and motorcycles. Although he declined to provide a timeline, Paolo Timoni, Piaggio vice president of sales and marketing and head of operations in the United States, said entry into the U.S. ATV market is imminent.
He told Powersports Business the U.S. models could be derivatives of Derbi quads already available in Europe, such as the DFW 50, DXR 200 and DXR 250.
The five-speed DXR 250, created with Taiwan’s Standard Motor Company, features a twin-cylinder 233cc air- and oil-cooled four-stroke and retails in Europe for Euro 4,849 ($6,312); the DXR 200 runs on a single-cylinder 169cc air-cooled four-stroke and retails for Euro 3,799 ($4,945); and the DFW 50, created with Taiwan’s Adly, has a transversally mounted single-cylinder 49cc two-stroke and retails for Euro 2,450 ($3,189).
But Derbi isn’t the only of Piaggio’s brands in the European ATV market. Also available there in 2005 are the Aprilia Quasar HP Grip 180 and the Quasar 50. The HP Grip features a single-cylinder 169cc liquid-cooled four-stroke and retails for Euro 4,250 ($5,532); the Quasar 50 has a horizontally mounted single-cylinder 49cc two-stroke and retails for Euro 2,340 ($3,046).
A supplier to various vehicle manufacturers within the powersports industry, Piaggio’s engine subsidiary — an autonomous business unit of approximately 1,500 workers — showed a number of motors at the recent Dealer Expo in Indianapolis. Among the powerplants on display were 500cc and 850cc four-strokes.
Timoni said it is those engines that could power a new fleet of big-bore quads, units that would compete against those from Polaris, Arctic Cat and the Big Four from Japan.

—Guido Ebert

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