Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Vespa Scooter. Could you see yourself on this sleek vehicle? Posted by Picasa


Il Vespas dell'Unisce-Parte di Mondo Due

In a post from January, Vespas of the World Unite, the Author discussed The Ducati Kid’s belief that scooter riders should get some favorable tax treatment for choosing a fuel efficient vehicle. The Ducati Kid is a fellow blogger, Ducati motorcyclist, and Vespa scooter owner.

Favorable tax treatment for fuel-efficient vehicles would be a good incentive for Americans to choose an “eco-friendly” vehicle. Certain tax incentives are available for hybrid vehicles. But Vespa is taking the fuel economy argument directly to policy makers.

On February 21st, Piaggio Group Americas, the manufacturer of Vespa motor scooters, took its case to American mayors in a full-page ad in the New York Times. The ad is in the form of a letter written by Paolo Timoni, President and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas. The text of the letter is below:

February 21, 2006

Open letter to all U.S. mayors concerned with America's oil consumption
To attain the ambitious goal of breaking America's "addiction to oil," the President has recently focused on the need to invest in alternative fuel technologies. However, there is also a behavioral approach that could greatly reduce this nation's energy consumption, while helping to preserve our environment and reduce traffic congestion.

The use of motor scooters - a daily behavior of millions of people across Europe and Asia - is only marginally embraced in the United States. Everyday in this country, millions of individuals drive their cars in locations and situations where motor scooters would be perfectly appropriate and convenient. Instead, if they were to utilize one of the latest eco-friendly motor scooters available in the market today - those compliant with the most stringent European and American regulations on gas emissions - they would, on average, reduce their fuel consumption by 58%, their emissions of carbon monoxide by 90%, and their emissions of carbon dioxide by 80%.

With the launch of the first Vespa in 1946, our company started a movement that has substantively improved transportation in countries around the world. Consistent with the President's energy utilization goals, we believe the time has come to expand the range of transportation solutions also in the United States.

We encourage you to broaden the dialogue about energy self-sufficiency to include both technological solutions and behavioral ones, fostering acceptance of alternative transportation, such as scootering. With your support - as well as that of other federal, state and local government leaders - scootering would bring immediate and substantial economic and environmental benefits to Americans and the communities in which they live.
We remain at your disposal should you wish to discuss this opportunity further.


Paolo TimoniPresident and CEOPiaggio Group Americas

About The Piaggio Group Americas:
Established in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio and based in Pontedera (Pisa, Italy), the Piaggio Group is one of the world's top manufacturers of two-wheel motor vehicles. With over 6,000 employees in 50 countries, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European 2-wheeler market, and a particularly strong presence in the scooter and 50cc vehicles segment, with 40 percent market share in Europe and 48 percent in Italy. Its production includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to over 1000 cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Scarabeo brands. The Piaggio Group is controlled by Immsi S.p.A., an industrial and services holding listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, and is headed by Chairman Roberto Colaninno and Chief Executive Officer Rocco Sabelli.

Across its more than 120-year history, the company has been active in almost every area of transport including: naval fittings; the construction of locomotives and rolling stock; engines for the aeronautics sector; seaplanes; and civil and military aircraft. Since the introduction of the Vespa scooter in 1946, Piaggio has led the way in meeting the growing demand for personal mobility. A universally recognized symbol of Italian style, Vespa is an outstanding success story with more than 16 million scooters produced to date.


Scooters and mopeds are a frequent sight here in Albuquerque, especially around the University of New Mexico campus. Their utility in urban areas and small communities is beyond dispute. But as Mr. Timoni states, scootering would require a change in behavior. A change in behavior that would result in more fun for Americans.

Scooters are a heck of a lot of fun! Even the performance bike types like the Author agree that small motorcycles and scooters are fun to ride. But can Americans change?