Three Wheels, Side-by-Side Seating

Publish Date: 
Oct 7, 2008
By Arlo Redwine

The minimum order for dealer pricing is two units. If you order a fleet of six for rental purposes, the prices are the same, but Panther Motors will help you get started with digital images for brochures, checkout sheets, rental agreements and sources for insurance. Panther Motors has 88 dealers across the country, most of which are powersports stores. The company estimates that it will wholesale 850 units this year.

Learn more about the vehicles and company at scootcoupe.com. But note: Panther Motors is now selling 2009 models, even though it has not updated its Web site. Also, the pictures posted here are of the 2008 models.

According to Livoti, the 2009 models have better seat cushions and better LED lights in the rear turn signals. More important, the 2009 models come with internal wheel bearings, like the ones found on cars. The old three-spoke wheels shown here were like motorcycle ones. "You had to grease those wheels frequently," says Livoti, who claims the new five-spoke wheels don't require maintenance until 50,000 miles.

Readers who visit the Panther Web site also will notice that the company sells directly to consumers. "We do only to areas where we don't have a dealer, and if it's not prohibited by law," Livoti tells us. "But we're trying to build up a dealer network and refer all the call-ins to dealers."

Born in the Rental Industry
Since 1991, Livoti has operated scooter rental shops in resort towns in Florida. In 2005, he and a partner built 20 ScootCoupes for their own businesses. The original ScootCoupe, the P49, had a two-stroke engine sourced from Piaggio.

At the time, Livoti wasn't sure about the side-by-side design. He feared that scooter rentals would decline because too many couples would opt to rent one ScootCoupe instead of two scooters.

"But we found it to be just the opposite," he says. Families of three who would normally walk away because Mom wouldn't let her kid ride pillion on a normal scooter rented a ScooteCoupe and a scooter. "So whereas we thought originally the ScootCoupe might cannibalize the two-wheeled rentals, it actually enhanced everything," Livoti says. "And it really put a dent into our competitors."

Other rental business owners — both local and visiting from out of state — saw the vehicles and ordered some for themselves.

Soon requests came in for more power, so Panther Motors introduced the P150 in 2007. With it came retail sales to people looking for a fuel-efficient vehicle with good stability. (Continued)