Aprilia, Moto Guzzi Launch Lease Program through Sparta

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Aprilia and Moto Guzzi launch consumer motorcycle leases through Sparta

Key Points
Lease program made possible through deal between Piaggio and Sparta
Flex Lease Program offers short-term, low-cost alternative to traditional installment loan financing

Aprilia and Moto Guzzi dealers just obtained another way to get customers onto their bikes: a new lease program.

The program is the result of a deal between Piaggio Group Americas Inc. and Sparta Commercial Services, which is backing the offering.

Sparta's Flex Lease program is a shorter-term and lower-cost alternative to traditional installment loan financing, according to Paolo Timoni, president and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas. "This gives those customers an opportunity to enjoy new products every few years without the hassles of a trade-in," he says.

The program offers qualified applicants lease terms of 24, 36 and 48 months on new 2007 on-road bikes, without requiring a down payment and, in many cases, for a lower monthly payment than what a traditional installment loan requires. Customers can bundle accessories into their leases as well.

Customers have four options at the end of the lease. They can buy the vehicle for the residual amount, re-lease the unit for an additional set time period, trade it in for a lease on a new bike, or turn in the vehicle and walk away with no further obligation.

The leased units will be owned by Sparta. At the end of the leases, Sparta likely will offer to sell the motorcycles to the dealers, who in turn can sell or lease the bikes as second-hand units, says Timoni.

According to Sparta CEO Anthony Havens, about 40 percent of the motorcycles that go out on lease "never come back to us.

"Many of those consumers will either buy it out directly or do another lease term toward a buyout," Havens says. "But if they do want to return the bike, we'll work with the dealer to either sell it there for a consignment fee — we floorplan it free for 30 days — or pick it up the next day and move it to a different dealer who may be looking for that particular model."

Sparta's Flex Lease program for street motorcycles is about two years old. The company leases bikes from roughly 40 brands, although it's not always done through a formal arrangement with the OEM.