Mo’ money mo’ money mo’ money… not
The Piaggio Group released its financial report for the first half of 2014 on Monday. In a statement issued at that time, the company said “measures taken to control costs and productivity kept the key profit margins at the same levels as the first half of 2013.” However, a number of factors in key markets pointed sales (and profits) downward.
A significant slowdown in European sales recovery limited growth in the 2-wheeler segment to 4% above the same period in 2013. While the Group’s motorcycle sales are up, sales in the scooter segment were flat, due to a significant downturn in sales of 50cc scooters. The company controls 25.4% of the European scooter market via its five scooter brands.
Sales decreases in the Asia-Pacific region were highlighted by an 8% decline in Vietnam and a double-digit decrease in Thailand, two previously strong markets for the company. The sharp slowdown in the Indian economy has resulted in significant slackening of 2-wheeler sales, though strong demand in the first quarter kept the decrease in commercial vehicle sales to 3% vs. the same period in 2013.
North American 2-wheeler sales were up by 3.2%, but the scooter segment was down 2% from the same period last year. Sales of 20,000 scooters were reported.
Plans for the future include a greater presence in the Latin American market via small and medium motorcycles produced by Piaggio Group’s joint venture company in China. Also, the company says it will “…continue study and research into new urban and metropolitan individual mobility scenarios and development of technologies and platforms that focus on the functional and emotional aspects of its vehicles…”
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