Piaggio. Global Two-wheeler sales fell 21% year to date May 2020

Photo by Chanakya Vardhan on Unsplash

Piaggio global motorcycles sales decreased 21.8% in the first five months 2020, hit by the huge fall in the Indian market, while the decline in Europe was limited at 23.7%. Data refer to the Piaggio and Vespa sales, excluding commercial vehicles (-48%) and other brands controlled by the group.

Piaggio Global 2020 sales performance

Actually Piaggio models (including Vespa) are distributed in over 80 countries in the World. They include not only the two and three-wheeler scooters, but also the three-wheeler commercial vehicles, Ape, a tuk-tuk or rickshaw and a light commercial car, called Porter.

While we collect data for these segments as well, in this article data refer exclusively to the two/three wheeler sales under the brand Piaggio and Vespa.

Other brands within Piaggio Group (Moto-Guzzi, Aprilia and Derby) are not considered.

As reported in our Global Coverage section, we do not cover yet few markets (like, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal) where scooter sales are relevant and Piaggio presence is remarkable. However, on the base of last year’s final figures, we know we miss less than 10% of global Piaggio sales worldwide.

Said this, and on the base of data collected, in the first five months of the 2020, Piaggio brand worldwide sales have been 91.225 (to which an estimated 9.000 units could be added and referred to market mentioned above (not covered) plus some African & Middle East markets, for a projection at 100.000.

In percentage, global sales are declining 21.8%.

Sales decline are caused by the huge fall in India, with sales down 51%, due to the shutdown period, and in Europe, with sales down 23.3%, due to the relevant lost in Italy, Spain and France. 

However, the European market is full of good signs for the brand, with data positive YTD May in Austria, Croatia, Finland, Sweden and in other markets, helping to figure out a recovery in the next months, in all the region.

As said, we excluded from the data the commercial vehicles sales, which are very relevant for the company as group, counting near 35% of the entire sales. We must say, Commercial dropped heavily (near 50%), due to their strong presence in India.

The Heritage

Piaggio is an Italian motor vehicle manufacturer, which produces a range of two-wheeled motor vehicles and compact commercial vehicles.

Founded in the 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio, the company started producing two-wheeler immediately after the II World War, launching in April 1946 the Vespa (Italian for “wasp”) a vehicles deputy to change the human mobility and become an icon for style and efficiency.


The global Vespa success arrived when in 1952, Audrey Hepburn side-saddled Gregory Peck’s Vespa in the feature film Roman Holiday for a ride through Rome.

In 1956, John Wayne dismounted his horse in favor of the two-wheeler to originally get between takes on sets as well as Marlon Brando, Dean Martin, and the entertainer Abbe Lane had become Vespa owners. William Wyler filmed Ben Hur in Rome in 1959, allowing Charlton Heston to abandon horse and chariot between takes to take a spin on the Vespa.

Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck & Vespa
Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck & Vespa

In 1956, with production of the millionth Vespa scooter, Italy had its first mass-produced motorised vehicle. Taking advantage of increased cash flow thanks to the success of the Vespa, Piaggio developed other products, including the 1957 Vespa 400, a compact passenger car and in 1959 Piaggio was acquired by the Agnelli family, the owners of car maker Fiat SpA, further developing the global presence and the production. In the 1960 over 4 million Vespa had been produced worldwide! 

Since 2003, Piaggio Group is controlled by IMMSI, a holding company of the Colaninno family.

Actually the Piaggio & C Spa controls seven brands: Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Derbi and Vespa, after that the owner decided to sell the current Vespa version under its own name and – in some countries -with a dedicated distribution network.