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Thread: Is Piaggio Killing Aprilia?

  1. #16
    apriliaforum prov-nov
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo J View Post
    It's tough going for Italian brands. You have Ducati owned by the corrupt VW-Audi Group, MV Agusta awash in Black Ocean's Russian cash, Benelli owned by the Chinese.
    Ok...Aprilia go to Daimler Benz?

    Enviado desde mi C107-9 mediante Tapatalk

  2. #17
    apriliaforum expert Stu_O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodosero View Post
    Ok...Aprilia go to Daimler Benz?
    I think Aprilia would stand a better chance of survival with Bombardier.

  3. #18
    apriliaforum expert spesnaz's Avatar
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    Let's face it, Piaggio has been suffering from a major rectal-cranial inversion for the last 10 years at least. Perhaps its a philosophical failure, these marketing twinks have no understanding of manufacturing.

    If anyone at Piaggio dare listen, I'll give you the Cliff's Notes version. This is the same method you obviously used to graduate from university, so it might resonate:

    That little vinyl sticker? It's a badge, an earned brand. It's earned by producing a product that stands on its own merits. If you don't have a product behind it, you're merely marketing a sticker. For details here, look at the Chinese machine with the requisite marketing sticker applied.

    That poor Chinese machine is bound to fall apart. Just like rust, what's really rusting away is your company's reputation.

    You need to continually innovate and improve your product. You need to support your dealer network, as these guys do many things for you that have been taken for granted. They shoulder blame for any little problems, make it right, and stand up for you. They sell and support your motorcycle, making the experience all the better for your customers.

    The net result of doing everything right, is more people are inspired to look at your product, buy it, and in turn, they will spread good words about your product. You will succeed, and grow.

    Now, read these points in reverse order, and the little light might come on between your ears.

    Bob

  4. #19
    Honest always, feared often Micah / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    Fantastic article and spot on analysis of the Aprilia/Piaggio situation. It would indeed be in the best interest of Aprilia and the Aprilia faithful for Piaggio to sell the brand and it's assets to someone looking to make bikes and sell them.
    Diminished expectations is the key to happiness in life.

    Micah Shoemaker
    AF1 Racing
    9900 IH35N
    Austin, TX 78753
    micah@af1racing.com
    @ShoemakerMicah
    @AF1Racingaustin

  5. #20
    apriliaforum expert ScottG's Avatar
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    Oh, you're going to be in big trouble when they translate this.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micah / AF1 Racing View Post
    Fantastic article and spot on analysis of the Aprilia/Piaggio situation. It would indeed be in the best interest of Aprilia and the Aprilia faithful for Piaggio to sell the brand and it's assets to someone looking to make bikes and sell them.
    In my country, that's called a "zas! in the whole mouth


    I just hope someone arrives in time to save at least Aprilia ...

    I do not know how they do not look a little more at brands like Ktm or Bmw, which sell a hundred times to the same dog but with different collar ...

  7. #22
    apriliaforum Member Blackfin's Avatar
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    I'd like to think that Aprilia would be scooped up by another brand if Piaggio were to pull the plug. I'd settle for the Russian mob if it meant I could continue to get parts, accessories and service.

  8. #23
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    Let's face it most of the parts on aprilias these days are made in China anyway . It is a real shame that the product line has shrunk but guzzi is the same also owned by piaggio .

  9. #24
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    Ferret, on the surface your statement appears to be broad and hyperbolic- do you care to substantiate it?

  10. #25
    apriliaforum expert cokoop's Avatar
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    I don't get it. Erico, one of our local dealers, dropped Aprilia but kept Moto Guzzi and Vespa. How big of a pain in the ass do you have to be to get dropped but the dealer keeps the sister brands? I'm wondering if the dealers may be getting pressured by Ducati, which Erico also sells.

    The other Denver dealer Fay Myers, another multi line dealer used to have Ducati and Aprilia in a separate room in the back. Ducati paid them for a remodel of the room and its now Ducati only. Last time I was there they only had one Aprilia and it was out on the main floor with all the Japanese riff-raff. I don't think they have dropped Aprilia yet but it looks like the handwriting is on the wall.

    Now we have a new dealer, Imperial, don't know much about them but it's their first new bike line. They had been buying insurance wrecks and parting them out. They installed and tuned my PCV and I've got no complaints. Hope they do well but I think it says something when Aprilia loses 2 of the most established dealers in the state and gets picked up by a breaker.

    (and now I'm just rambling)

    IF Aprilia ever had an urge to market their bikes the contrast between Erico and Imperial would be an excellent basis. Erico is in the fancy hipster part of downtown. Imperial is in an industrial park. The guys at Imperial are very involved in the local race scene. I don't think they sell T-shirts or any soft gear. Erico is where you go to buy your Roland Sands jacket. Quick cuts of a bike on the track followed by a Ducati parked in front of a Starbucks. Second cut of a bike on a Dynojet followed by a dealership T-shirt shop. Third cut of some Aprilias on the dealership floor, with nothing else there, followed by a packed floor with a bunch of black Harley's intermixed with red Ducatis. Tagline on the final cut. "This is where you buy a racebike; This is where you buy an image." with a snear on the word "image". (or maybe "lifestyle")
    2007 Tuono

    2007 SR50 Factory

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo J View Post
    Ferret, on the surface your statement appears to be broad and hyperbolic- do you care to substantiate it?
    First off in the uk the amount of dealers for aprilia has shrunk drastically and dealers drop them due to very slow parts supply yet as another stateside poster has said they often keep Moto guzzi . Why are dealers dropping aprilia ? Just look at the range of bikes to start with , the updated 900 v twin bikes again too little too late and over priced and not even a sports tourer like the old Falco . The sum of Chinese parts on these machines is very visible if you care to look . My srv as an example the wheels and bearings ,rear brake all relays lights and panels indicators lights all made in China .

  12. #27
    Honest always, feared often Micah / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    There really are a lot of Chinese parts ON ALL MODERN BIKES, trust me this is far from an Aprilia-Only situation. Brake rotors are now $5 items at the OEM level, even the lowest tiers of Brembo genuine are not made at some foundry in the EU by little old men speaking with Italian accents and sipping vino. BMW, Honda, Ducati, HD, Aprilia, Guzzi, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha et-al use parts from the lowest bidder. KTM is making it's entire 390 series and more in India, and for good reason, labor cost is low, material cost is low and quality is actually on a radical upswing. This is not the issue killing or injuring the motorcycle industry, it is the abject inability to attract and retain new riders and old customers as well. I know that even for myself there are like only 2-3 NEW bikes I have any interest in at all for spending my own money. Sadly a little over half that list is made by that little but rabidly growing Austrian company.

    Aprilia is not really innovating right now. In the parlance of the tech industry here in little Silicone Valley they have failed to capitalize on their ability to "scale". There is absolutely no reason why Aprilia does not offer a 250-ish cc single, a 500-ish cc twin and the 1000-1100cc V4 motors. If they did they could scale, they could pour R&D money into developing a single cylinder that can be a twin or a four as well, the electronic costs would go down, chassis could be derivative etc. I know I am getting older but I am not the only one missing the simplicity, reliability and end user serviceability of older designs of bikes...I also know what is "best" for me is likely not a 200bhp fire breathing monster of a bike but perhaps a 50-100bhp machine based on that premium bike that weighs a hell of a lot less and requires less of me in terms of up front financial cost and longer term maintenance. Would I be interested in a 45-50 bhp 250cc single, or 100 bhp parallel twin putting down a legit 90bhp, and weighing under say 330lbs...hell yes. A buddy of mine once said in very wise words that the core competency of Aprilia was small displacement, light weight bikes with insane handling, he was quite right.

    The global dealer network is a borderline disaster and that is likely a top-down organizational issue as stated in the article this thread is based on. When Beggio was in charge he did something amazing in the modern context, he went against every hard and fast rule, he built the most reliable italian motorcycles ever made, even if it required an Austrian engine, or a Japanese one for the scooters (Minarelli was the engine builder, basically Yamaha Italy). He had vision, Aprilia was looking way down the road at how to keep two stroke motors viable (contrary to popular opinion nobody cares if it is 2T or 4T as long as emissions targets are reached), he was absolutely killing the learner bike market with the AF1, RS50/RS125 and later the RS250. Beggio was the Godfather of all that is good and loved in Aprilia-land, even now his DNA is present in the V4 motors he hoped to one day build from the initial R&D he had already done, the Twins currently in production and more. He made some bad decisions, those led to his loss of the brand.

    Motorcycling in general is in decline at least here in the USA. It is going to take a very seismic shift in the market, perhaps driven by another recession or another boom to get new riders on bikes. Riding is supposed to be fun, social at some level and competitive at another but it has to start out being fun. I live in the sticks (out in the countryside, no where near town) and I see what a kids first ride is near me, I have not seen a 50cc motorcycle, even a dirtbike in the pastures near me ever, however 50cc Chinese quads are out all over the place with kids on them. If yet another generation is introduced to four wheels instead of two, they may not ever take to the magic that is machines that lean the correct direction whilst turning.

    Just a few random thoughts, feel free to add or argue.
    Diminished expectations is the key to happiness in life.

    Micah Shoemaker
    AF1 Racing
    9900 IH35N
    Austin, TX 78753
    micah@af1racing.com
    @ShoemakerMicah
    @AF1Racingaustin

  13. #28
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    When I hear people say Aprilia should do this, or Aprilia should do that, they must realize that this call is really no longer in Aprilia's hands but must come from above, and that's Piaggio.

    I would also hope for a high performance mid-displacement thumper along the lines of KTM's 690 Duke, easily my current favorite in the Austrian lineup. Additionally, a 300-400cc sportbike done right. And then an open class sport touring rig! While we're asking the impossible, why not go up in technology and supercharge some models? Not everyone wants to own a motorcycle that's homologated per Dorna's whim-of-the-day. Fuck that limited thinking, let's open the throttles of innovation and start dreaming again.

    Perhaps Piaggio's seeming infatuation with Guzzi is because they have a higher margin per unit? A V7 rehash, for example, does not require any expensive racetrack R&D program and test team, all it needs is someone to decide which side panels, fork gaitors, and color it gets for next year. Voila, instant "heritage" parts bin special. Cue the Peter Egan sentimentalism! But it seems a little too Harley-esque and formulaic to me.

  14. #29
    apriliaforum Member
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    I agree with all of that

  15. #30
    Honest always, feared often Micah / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    The new V7III cylinder heads are obviously designed to eventually be "updated" to 4 valve units...90% of parts and 99% of architecture is present, I am sure this is the next "evolution" of the motor. Aprilia indeed has no control over their own destiny at this time, they are just a cog in the machinery of Piaggio. Wish listing aside, at least "scaling" has economic potential, to use another tech industry darling "economies of scale". Higher tech I am not sure of Ricardo, BMW is finding that path is not in line with buyers desires of their top tier machinery on two wheels.
    Diminished expectations is the key to happiness in life.

    Micah Shoemaker
    AF1 Racing
    9900 IH35N
    Austin, TX 78753
    micah@af1racing.com
    @ShoemakerMicah
    @AF1Racingaustin

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