Piaggio announced it is opening a new design center in Pasadena, Calif., to be headed by Aprilia RSV4 designer Miguel Galluzzi.

Roberto Colaninno, chairman and chief executive officer of  the Piaggio Group, announced plans for the new Advanced Design Center at a dealer convention for the Piaggio Group Americas in Miami, Fla. At the moment, North American customers usually have to wait a little longer before they receive new Piaggio models, with most models arriving on these shores months after they are available in Europe. Hopefully, the new design center will help new models arrive sooner.

The new design center will work closely with Piaggio’s main style center as well as research and development centers in Italy, China, India and Vietnam. This network forms part of what Piaggio calls an “intelligence globalization” policy.

“This year we are ramping up our international growth,” says Colaninno, “and consistently with the expansion of our industrial and commercial operations around the world, we are also implementing an ‘intelligence globalization”‘ policy to create an international system of competences and research in the areas of product marketing and style. A few weeks ago, our Mantua location opened a product marketing center with a team of young marketing managers from all the Piaggio Group European and Asian locations. The new Advanced Design Center in Pasadena will be working not only at the cutting edge of style developments, but will also be cooperating with the world’s top universities and research centers.”

The Pasadena center will on products from all of Piaggio’s brands, including Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Vespa, as well as the Group’s aerospace division. Overseeing things will be Galluzzi, an Argentine-born American. Galluzzi’s résumé includes models such as the RSV4, the Cagiva Raptor, the Ducati Monster and the new Moto Guzzi California 1400.

Piaggio also used the convention in Miami to deliver some good news about its performance in North America. Piaggio’s market share for scooters in American has increased from 27.1% to 30%, thanks to shipments of 10,300 scooters in 2011 (up 68.3% from 2010). More than half of those shipments (5,300 units) are for various versions of the Vespa LX, leading Piaggio to call it the best-selling European two-wheeler in the U.S. Piaggio also reports a 53.0% increase in revenues to 34.5 million euro (US$46.1 million) in 2011.

[Source: Piaggio]

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