The Piaggio Group reported a 4.8% drop in motorcycle and scooter sales over the first half of 2012 thanks to the continuing struggles of the European economy. The Piaggio Group includes the brands Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Vespa.
According to the company’s second quarter report, the Piaggio Group sold 216,700 motorcycles and scooters in the first half of 2012, compared to 227,700 units in 2011. Sales revenue from two-wheeled vehicles also took a hit, dropping to 561.9 million euros (US$692.2 million) from 578.7 million euros (US$713.0 million).
The Piaggio Group sites a struggling European economy for the decreased sales. According to Piaggio, the European motorcycle market shrank by 13% while the demand for scooters decreased 16%.
Sales in the Asian market continue to rise however, with Piaggio reporting a 36.6% increase in sales and 38.3% increase in revenue. The second quarter also saw the launch of Vespa in India. Vespa exceeded Piaggio’s expectations, shipping 5000 scooters since May.
The American market offered even better news with Piaggio reporting a 42.8% increase in sales and a 111.5% increase in revenue. Piaggio now claims a leading share of 36% of the U.S. 50cc scooter market.
Overall, the Piaggio Group had a net profit of 33.8 million euros (US$41.6 million) in the first half of 2012, up slightly from a profit of 33.6 million (US$41.5 million). The slight increase in net profit came despite a 7.9% decrease in net sales from all of its divisions.
Looking ahead, Piaggio will continue with its 2011-2014 business plan to continue expanding in the Asian market and India and developing engines with lower fuel consumption and emissions including new electric and hybrid engines.