Piaggio Group: beginning today Vespa production in Vietnam for Asia

Roberto Colaninno: “After establishing a presence in India and China, the Piaggio Group completes its strategic investment plan in Asia”. Production of diesel and turbodiesel engines to begin by the end of the year in the new powertrain plant in India.

Binh Xuyen Industrial Park, 24 June 2009 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Piaggio Vietnam Ltd., the Vietnamese subsidiary of the Piaggio Group, announced the official launch on the local market of Vespa LX scooters, manufactured in the Piaggio factory in the Binh Xuyen Industrial Park (province of Vinh Phuc).

The presentation ceremony for the new Vespa was held today at Piaggio Vietnam Ltd. Among those attending the ceremony were Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, as well as Italy’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Andrea Perugini.

For the Piaggio Group, a delegation of top managers from Italy were present, led by Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Roberto Colaninno. The Vietnamese subsidiary was represented by Costantino Sambuy, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Piaggio Vietnam Ltd. and Piaggio Group two-wheeler Market Manager for Asia.

Produced in 125 and 150cc versions, the Vespa LX is constructed entirely in the Piaggio Group’s new factory in Vietnam, which handles all welding, painting, final assembly, testing and quality control processes.

By the end of 2009, the Piaggio Vietnam Ltd. factory will have more than 250 employees on a surface area of more than 135,000 square metres. It was built and equipped in less than two years, with an overall investment by the Piaggio Group until production start-up of more than 30 million US dollars.

When fully operational, the facility will have an annual production capacity of 100,000 vehicles; in the future, this capacity may be doubled, if necessary, on the same Vinh Phuc site. Piaggio Vietnam Ltd. is the most important Italian investment in Vietnam and plays a key strategic role for the Piaggio Group in geographical terms.

Piaggio Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roberto Colaninno said: “After establishing a presence in India and China, with the marketing start-up of Vespa scooters produced in Vietnam Piaggio now completes its strategic investment plan in Asia, taking a new step of the greatest importance towards the globalisation of its production operations. We take great pride in the fact that with this initiative, undertaken in an exceptionally short space of time thanks to effective cooperation between the Italian and Vietnamese Governments and between Piaggio and the national and local authorities, our Group has created the most important Italian investment in Vietnam, an extraordinarily young and rapidly expanding country. And it has done so with the Vespa, a product and brand already highly respected on the local market, confirming its position as an authentic object of desire all over the world.”

Sales of Vespa scooters produced in Vietnam are initially estimated at approximately 15,000 units during the second half of 2009.

Europe’s leading constructor of two-wheel motor vehicles and one of the global industry’s primary players, the Piaggio Group has a strong, consolidated presence on its European domestic market, in Asia and in North America. The Piaggio Group product range comprises scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in 50 to 1,200cc displacement categories, for the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Derbi and Scarabeo brands. The Piaggio Group is also active in the three- and four-wheel light transport sector, with the Ape, Porter and Quargo commercial vehicle ranges.

In 2008 the Piaggio Group sold a total of 648,600 vehicles worldwide (scooters, motorcycles and three/four-wheel vehicles), of which 470,500 in the two-wheeler business and 178,100 in the commercial vehicle business.

In the three- and four-wheel light transport sector, Group operations in Asia reflect the growing success of the fully owned Indian subsidiary Piaggio Vehicles Private Ltd.

(PVPL), based in Baramati (Mumbai). In just five years, PVPL has more than tripled its sales volumes, from 49,600 vehicles produced in 2003 to 159,000 vehicles sold in 2008, to rank as the outright leader on the Indian market.

Later this year, PVPL will begin production of 1,000 and 1,200cc Diesel and turbodiesel Piaggio engines at the Baramati industrial complex, where work is being completed on the new powertrain plant. The engines produced in Baramati will equip the new commercial vehicle ranges built by the Group in Europe (Pontedera) and India.

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