20th December 2006  

On Tuesday 19 December, the 100,000 th Vespa scooter to be assembled in 2006 came off the production lines. An impressive result that had not been achieved for 16 years previously, the production milestone reflects the outstanding success of one of Italy's most celebrated brands. The Vespa success story is no less important in terms of charity: the Piaggio Group has decided to mark the Vespa's 60 th anniversary by donating one Euro to the AISM - Italian multiple sclerosis association for each Vespa sold in 2006 and 2007.


A red Vespa GTS 250 is the scooter that holds the title as the 100,000 th Vespa to leave the production line in 2006 .A long round of applause from the assembly workers, joined by Piaggio Group chairman and chief executive officer Roberto Colaninno and chief operating officer Daniele Bandiera , greeted Vespa no. 100,000 when it came off line 6 of the Pontedera factory at 12:30 yesterday afternoon.

Roberto Colaninno commented: "Vespa production volumes have doubled in three years, an achievement we should all be proud of, for two reasons: first, because this extraordinary brand, which continues to grow in both Europe and the USA, is a powerful symbol of Italian creativity and industrial expertise that has become a household name all over the world. And second, because the Vespa's success encompasses all the elements that have contributed to the growth achieved by the entire Piaggio Group in the last few years: brand value, a capacity for innovation in design and technology balanced with the traditional values of each brand, and an international growth strategy pursued with determination."


Vespa production volumes and shipments have made impressive progress in the last two years: production volumes in 2004 were just over 50,000, approximately 87,000 in 2005, and more than 100,000 in 2006: an increase of 16% in the last 12 months alone. Vespa's record-breaking success will also have an important social impact: as Roberto Colaninno announced on 27 April during the celebrations to mark the Vespa's 60 th anniversary, the Piaggio Group is to donate one Euro for each Vespa sold in 2006 and 2007 to the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association (AISM) , a body set up in 1968 to provide social and medical assistance, raise public awareness about multiple sclerosis and promote scientific research into the disease.


The record output of 100,000 Vespa scooters in 2006 is a direct reflection of the success of the world's most famous scooter range, which this year welcomed the Vespa GTV and LXV vintage line , as well as the Vespa GT 60° , a limited edition whose 999 numbered units--produced to mark the iconic scooter's 60 th anniversary --were purchased within days by collectors and scooter enthusiasts around the world. Yet another indication of a brand appeal that has continued to flourish over the years, an accomplishment that very few brands can match.

Since the launch of the Vespa 98cc in 1946, the model that laid the foundation for the myth, the Vespa has sold all over the world, for a total of nearly 17 million scooters . At the recent EICMA 2006 Show in Milan, Piaggio presented the 144 th model , the Vespa S : with lines that mark a return to the 1970s design, the latest arrival continues the reputation for exclusive style and appeal and up-to-the-minute technology.