Motorcycles

The New Vespa Notte is for Men Who Want to Be Different

Although Vespa’s market is 90% male in the Philippines, it’s 75% female in Vietnam.
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Most vehicles lose a significant portion of their value the minute you drive them out of the showroom. Not a Vespa. The scooter from Italian maker Piaggio is one of the few brands that is actually worth more the older it gets. Chalk it up to its durability, its unique design, or even the fact that it was catapulted to icon status since it appeared in the classic 1953 film “Roman Holiday.”

“Vespa is an iconic brand; it is a ‘lovemark’ and an evergreen product that has been in the market for more than 75 years,” said Gianluca Fiume, general director of Piaggio Vietnam and executive vice president of Pacific 2 Wheeler. “It is a pioneer in the market by conveying its DNA: a unique design and a basket of smart breakthroughs which have been kept throughout the years and have been always developed.”

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Fiume was in the country to launch the latest special edition of the brand: the Vespa Notte. Characterized by its total black color, matte finish and advanced features, the Vespa Notte is geared towards individuals who Fiume says “wants to distinguish himself from others.”

The Italian executive revealed some peculiar statistics about the company’s market in the region. Vespa and its parent company Piaggio’s regional headquarters is located in Vietnam, where Fiume says they built an engine and vehicle plant as well as a research and development center. Vietnam is Piaggio’s largest market in Southeast Asia, followed by Thailand and Indonesia. The Philippines comes in at fourth, although Fiume said there is enormous potential in the country mainly due to the momentum of a fast-growing economy.

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“In terms of proportion, the Philippine market (for Vespa) is around 90 percent male right now,” he said. “But (the products are versatile) because, guess what, in Vietnam, 75 to 80 percent of the market is female. And they buy the same product. In Europe, where I come from, it is 75 percent male.”

The demographics of Vespa owners are incredibly skewed depending on where in the world you’re looking, which is fine with Fiume, who said that “Vespa is an ecosystem that welcomes everybody.”

“The Vespa Notte, to be specific, is targeted male, 35 to 40 years, socially well-positioned, who likes ‘lovemarks,’ who likes iconic brands, who says I want a Vespa when he means he wants a scooter,” he said. “(That’s) the target. But the same product located in Europe has a different target: it is masculine, but it is 45 to 55 years old, socially elevated, with income buying power medium to high. But at the end of the day, the areas and the ingredients are almost the same. The important thing is how you connect yourself to our why, and our why remains the same: to be iconic, elegant and beautiful and all the other values we share.”

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Fiume said that since he joined Piaggio Asia Pacific two years ago, the company has released one special edition every quarter, the latest of which is the Vespa Notte, which comes in the Sprint (150 cc) and GTS Super (300 cc). 

According to Vespa, the Sprint Notte is a single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke engine equipped with electronic injection and three-valve distribution. Power and maximum torque of the i-get 150 cc engine are 9.5kw at 7750 rpm and 12.8 Nm at 6500 rpm.

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The Vespa GTS 300 Super Notte, meanwhile, has a modern, high-tech, single cylinder, 4-stroke, 4-valve, liquid-cooled, electronic injection engine capable of putting out 15.6 kW (21.2 hp) at 7,750 rpm and a maximum torque of 22 Nm at just 5,000 rpm. This means the engine ensures prompt acceleration and is ideal both for the city and the countryside.

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“To formulate and engineer a special edition, you need to formulate the right touchpoints, otherwise, you might release a special edition which won’t be perceived special,” he said. “Special must be special.”

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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