The Piaggio Group has opened a new engine production facility in Vietnam as part of the company’s plan to more than double capacity of its Vietnamese manufacturing to 300,000 units a year.

The new facility, located near Hanoi, will initially begin making 200,000 scooter engines a year, but production will scale up to 300,000 to match increased production at Piaggio’s existing vehicle assembly plant. Piaggio has big plans for the Asian market which, the company predicts, will make up 50% of the company’s revenue by 2014.

Piaggio opened its first Vietnamese vehicle assembly plant in 2009. It produces the Piaggio-branded Liberty and Fly scooters as well as Vespa scooters. The facility also houses a research and development center which focuses on planning two-wheeled vehicles specifically for the Asian market.

“Today is a very important event for our Group,” says Roberto Colaninno, chairman and chief executive officer of the Piaggio Group. “It is based on the success achieved by Piaggio Vietnam since 2009 and lays the foundation for a new phase in our expansion strategy in South East Asia. The results reported by the Piaggio Group last year validate our global growth strategies, which identify Asia as the key to Group growth in the next few years, by virtue of the rapid urbanization of the main Asian nations and rising consumer purchasing power.”

While Piaggio’s Vietnamese operations serve as a launching point for other Southeast Asian markets, the new engine factory will also produce powerplants for other markets.

“The engine plant opened today will also produce a new global range of scooter engines developed by our Group for manufacture in Italy, Vietnam and India,” says Colaninno. “These are four-stroke, three-valve 125 and 150cc engines with a capacity of 60 kilometres per liter (141 mpg), whose emissions and fuel consumption are among the lowest in the world.”

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