The Piaggio line of scooters has always been an interesting case study in brand positioning. As parent company of the world’s most recognizable scooter marque, Vespa, Piaggio could have been content to exist as a governing parent company for its many two-wheel properties. These include not just Vespa, but also Moto Guzzi, Aprilia and others. Yet Piaggio sells a full lineup of modern-style scooters under its own name. Most feature Vespa power plants, so for many, the value proposition is obvious. I can still get a Vespa, but for less money.
Piaggio seems to really be pushing the value proposition with the unveiling of the latest Fly 150, which as of this month will be available in the USA. Featuring the same new 3V engine powering the next generation of Vespa LX and S 150s, the Fly 150 3V sees the same bump in both horsepower and fuel efficiency. Claiming
130 mpg 104 mpg US, the Fly 150 3V is boasting midsize scooter performance with nearly 50cc fuel economy.
Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about the new Fly 150 3V is the MSRP: $2,899. That’s just $100 more than the best-selling Genuine Buddy 125. Is this a shot across the bow of “America’s Favorite Scooter Company” or is Piaggio thinking about costs across a variety of markets. Given that the real market growth for two-wheeled vehicles is in India and Central/South America, that more than anything else is likely driving Piaggio’s price conscious entry model.
With recent winners like the BV350, Piaggio seems to be taking its role in the scooter market very seriously — providing simple, modern scooters that people can use day-to-day. More than just a down-market Vespa, these machines are becoming a drawing force of their own for something more practical and more affordable than the classic wasp.