Vespa Production up 16% in 2006

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Piaggio produced more than 100,000 Vespa scooters in 2006, up 16 percent from the 87,000 units produced in 2005 and nearly double the 50,000 units built in 2004.

The 100,000th Vespa scooter to be assembled in 2006, a red Vespa GTS 250, came off the production line on Dec. 19. Piaggio Group chairman and chief executive officer Roberto Colaninno and chief operating officer Daniele Bandiera joined assembly workers at the Pontedera factory to celebrate the milestone production number.

"Vespa production volumes have doubled in three years, an achievement we should all be proud of for two reasons," Colaninno said. "First, because this extraordinary brand, which continues to grow in both Europe and the USA, is a powerful symbol of Italian creativity and industrial expertise that has become a household name all over the world. And second, because the Vespa's success encompasses all the elements that have contributed to the growth achieved by the entire Piaggio Group in the last few years: brand value, a capacity for innovation in design and technology balanced with the traditional values of each brand, and an international growth strategy pursued with determination."

Piaggio unveiled Vespa's 144th model, the Vespa S, at EICMA 2006 in November. Piaggio says Vespa sales since the brand's founding in 1946 total roughly 17 million scooters.

See Piaggio and Vespa new models at the Italian Pavilion in the main hall in the Convention Center.