Piaggio & C. S.p.A. (you know, the company that owns Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Gilera and Derbi) has announced that they’ve been awarded a healthy contract to provide Poste Italiane with 17,783 Piaggio Liberty 125cc scooters. The contract is worth around €30 million—roughly $40 million USD.
The Liberty has been reconfigured and outfitted specifically for use as a mail delivery vehicle. Piaggio showed a similar configuration at EICMA in 2010, the Liberty E-Mail. That version was all-electric; this one sports the standard 125cc EFI (and has that old-school-style windshield with the fabric hanging down, which I kind of love). Poste Italiane apparently doesn’t want to be too forward-thinking and went with the Liberty Snail-Mail.
While Piaggio’s Commercial Vehicles division in India has exploded (and was responsible for around 35% of the company’s total sales volume in 2010), European sales have declined along with the consumer vehicles over the past few years. The Poste Italiane contract could be the harbinger of a turnaround in Europe, or, at the very least, a nice windfall. Either way, I kind of envy the Italian postinos who get to ride these quirky-looking Liberties.