Poor sales and a weak Italian economy has forced Aprilia to place 360 workers on furlough through at least the end of October, bringing a partial halt to production. The affected employees work at Aprilia’s factory in Scorzè, Italy; the 300 workers at Aprilia’s other factory in nearby Noale are not affected at this time, though further workers being put on unpaid leave may not be out of the question.
The news comes the same time the Italian government meets to discuss its 2014 budget and boost its economy by cutting taxes and reduce spending. Italy remains Europe’s largest motorcycle market, but ACEM, which represents the motorcycle industry in Europe, reports a 31% drop in motorcycle sales in Italy from January to August of this year, dropping to 120,260 motorcycles compared to 170,148 units in the same period of 2012.
In this weakened market, Aprilia in particular has struggled. According to Moto.it, only 3,498 Aprilia scooters and motorcycles have been registered in Italy from January to September, putting the brand in 11th place in Italian sales among all manufacturers. The best-selling Aprilia model in Italy over that period is the Scarabeo 100, but the scooter ranks 36th overall among all models sold in Italy. Among motorcycles, the Caponord 1200 is Aprilia’s top-selling model, but with just 194 units sold, it ranks 59th in sales.