Italian two-wheeler company Aprilia (a division of Piaggio Group) is cutting back its scooter offerings in the United States and other markets. Currently, the US website for the brand shows only two scooter models, the SR Motard 50 and the SR 50 Factory. This will be the last year of production for the two-stroke Factory model, which is popular among customizers and racers.
The change is part of an ongoing Piaggio strategy to focus the lineups of their subsidiaries and create more distinct offerings for each brand. This has been prompted in part by declining sales in many market segments, particularly in Europe, North America. Aprilia has been particularly weak. Last October, the company halted production at a plant in Italy, furloughing 360 employees.
In the US, the Aprilia brand included the models sold overseas as Scarabeos — until recently that is. In recent years, the US Aprilia lineup has included the Scarabeo 50, 100, 200 and 500, as well as the Aprilia SportCity 50 and 250. (Some models were not in the official 2013 lineup but may have still been available. Due to soft sales, many models persisted after their model years or being dropped in the US.) Sales of the Aprilia scooters have never been strong in the US. Some of the top Piaggio/Vespa scooter dealers have dropped the line while most Aprilia motorcycle dealers don’t carry the scoots.
This leaves the future of Aprilia’s most-hyped scooter model, the SRV850, in doubt. Just one year ago, at their 2013 US dealer meeting, Piaggio executives announced that the world’s fastest (and at 840cc, highest displacement) scooter would be sold in the US as soon as fall of last year. ScooterFile is now hearing that plans to import the model have been put on indefinite hold, and that a 2014 stateside debut is highly unlikely.