Piaggio Group operates globally in two markets in the light mobility vehicle industry:
- two-wheeled vehicles (consisting of scooters and motorcycles);
- and commercial vehicles (both three- and four-wheeled light commercial vehicles).
Piaggio Group is the leading European manufacturer of two-wheeled vehicles and one of the leading producers of three-wheeled vehicles in India.
The macroeconomic framework
As in 2014 and 2015, the world economy grew by approximately 3%, with dynamics differing by geographic segment, against a background of reduced inflation in western countries and commodity prices affected by a further drastic fall in oil prices.
In East Asia, the two leading economies confirmed considerable growth factors, albeit with different dynamics. In China, this growth slowed down to 6.9% in a scenario with policies weakening the domestic currency, while in India growth improved (approximately +7%) with a concurrent decrease in inflation and the budget deficit.
Japan instead still did not manage to record a significant growth, despite the considerable state deficit and expansive monetary policy adopted.
In the United States, growth was consolidated (approximately +2.5%), allowing for a gradual reduction in the federal deficit and normalisation of the monetary policy. As a result the dollar got stronger, with a positive impact on the trade balances of EU countries.
Overall growth improved in the eurozone, in a context of marginal inflation, which led the ECB to confirm major programmes for monetary intervention.
In Italy, after three consecutive years of decline, GDP registered a growth which is near 1%. The slight improvement in consumer trends and employment confirmed the need for further structural reforms - to improve competitiveness, and for EU policies that not only focus on the strict control of government undertakings, but also on supporting investments.
In 2015, the world two-wheeler market (scooters and motorcycles), based on figures from monitored markets, recorded sales of nearly 46 million vehicles, with a decrease of approximately 6.5% compared to the previous year, but with different dynamics anchored to the geographic segment.
India, the most important two-wheeler market, registered a slight growth in 2015, ending the year with just over 16 million vehicles sold, up by 0.9% compared to 2014.
China instead recorded decreasing volumes in 2015, down by 14.8% compared to the previous year and ending the period with 9.1 million units sold.
The Asian area, Asean 5, reported a considerable decrease in 2015 (-10.1% compared to 2014) ending the year with 12.18 million units sold. Indonesia, the main market in this area, declined considerably in 2015, with total volumes of over 6.48 million units and a decrease of 17.6% compared to the previous year. Thailand also recorded a downwards trend (1.6 million units sold; -4.1% compared to 2014) as well as Malaysia (378 thousand units sold; - 14.7% compared to 2014). Whereas sales in Vietnam increased (2.8 million units sold; +4.8% compared to 2014), and in the Philippines (850 thousand units sold; +8% compared to 2014);
Volumes of other Asian area countries (Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia) decreased, in overall terms, compared to the previous year, with 1.22 million units sold (-5%). In this area, the decrease registered by Japan was considerable (-10.3% in 2015, with 374 thousand vehicles sold), while it was less negative for Taiwan, which ended the period with 668 thousand units sold (-0.9% compared to 2014).
The North American market, up by 3.3% compared to 2014 (557,000 vehicles sold) confirmed its growth trend in 2015 as well.
Brazil, the first market in the South America area, recorded a downturn of 16.8%, with just under 1.2 million vehicles sold in 2015.
Europe, the reference area for Piaggio Group activities, confirmed its positive growth trend in 2015 as well, reporting a 5.4% increase in sales on the two-wheeler market compared to 2014 (+10% for the motorcycle segment and +1.8% for scooters), ending the period with 1.212 million units sold.
The scooter market
The European scooter market in 2015 accounted for 673,000 registered vehicles, with an increase in sales of 1.8% compared to 2014.
In 2015, vehicle registrations were higher in the over 50cc segment, with 396,000 units against 277,000 units in the 50cc scooter segment. The over 50cc scooter segment increased by 6.9% compared to 2014, while the 50cc segment fell by 4.6%.
France was the most important market with 134,300 thousand units sold, followed by Italy with 129,600 thousand units and Spain with 102,500 thousand units. Holland has become the fourth country, in terms of sales volumes (64,700 units) ahead of Germany, which is now in fifth place on the European market with 61,500 units sold. Lastly, the United Kingdom registered 32,200 vehicles. In 2015, the Italian market reported a positive growth trend compared to the previous year (+3%). The 50cc segment went down by 13.3%, with 21,000 units sold. In the over 50cc segment, 108,600 units were sold, registering an increase of 7% compared to 2014.
The French market with 134,300 vehicles decreased by 5.8% compared to the 142,500 vehicles sold the previous year: this is due to the performance of the 50cc scooter subsegment (-10.2%) while the over 50cc subsegment was stable (+0.6%).
The German market registered a slight decrease (-1.6%) with approximately 61,500 vehicles sold in 2015 compared to 62,500 in 2014. On this market, the downturn was due to the 50cc scooter segment (-4.7%), while the over 50cc scooter segment reported an increase (+2%).
Spain performed the best among leading markets, with a growth of +16.6% compared to 2014. In this case as well, the result was due to a considerable increase in the over 50cc subsegment (+18.1%), while the 50cc scooter subsegment reported an increase of 8.2%.
In the United Kingdom the market grew by 1.1% thanks to a good performance from the over 50cc subsegment (+6.6%), which was only partially offset by a fall in the 50cc scooter subsegment (- 11.2%).
In 2015 the market still reported a downturn (-10.4%), with approximately 33,000 units sold: this negative trend is due to the over 50cc scooter segment, where sales fell by 13% and to the 50cc scooter segment, with sales going down by 8.3%.
The scooter market in the United States (which accounts for 90% of the reference area), declined by 10.7%, with 30,000 vehicles sold; a downturn was also registered on the Canadian market, with nearly 3,300 vehicles registered in 2015, accounting for a decrease of 8.3%.
The main scooter market in the Asean 5 area is Indonesia, with just under 5.7 million items sold, reporting a decrease of approximately 16% compared to 2014. The Cub segment (vehicles with gears) recorded the most significant downturn, confirming the negative trend of the previous year and closing with 829 thousand units and a decrease of -43%. The decrease in the automatic scooter segment was far more moderate (-8.3% compared to 2014 and nearly 4.9 million units sold).
The second main market is Vietnam, which reported a 4.8% increase and 2.8 million units sold, of which 1.5 million Cub scooters (-0.9% compared to 2014) and 1.3 million automatic scooters (+12.8% compared to 2014).
The Vietnamese market mainly concerns scooters, as sales in the motorcycle segment are not particularly significant. The 50cc scooter segment is not operative on this market.
In the Cub segment, 51cc to 115cc models were the best performers, with more than 1.2 million units sold, accounting for 78% of the entire segment.
The automatic scooter market increased by 12.9% in 2015, ending the year with over 4.9 million units sold.
The over 90cc range is the main product segment, with more than 4.7 million units sold in 2015 (+14.2% compared to the previous year) and accounting for 97% of the total automatic scooter market. The 50cc scooter segment is not operative in India.
The motorcycle market
With 539,000 units registered, the motorcycle market ended 2015 with a 10% increase. All subsegments reported a growth trend, including the 50cc subsegment (+1.9%, closing with 31,100 units sold). More significant growth trends were recorded for other sub-segments: 51-125cc motorcycles closed with sales of 85,000 units (+18.9%), while sales of 126-750cc motorcycles amounted to 156,000 units (+4.8%).
Lastly, the over 750cc segment reported the highest growth, +11.6%, with 266,600 motorcycles sold.
Germany is now the main European market with 121,700 units sold, taking over from France (107,000); the United Kingdom with 82,500 vehicles stayed in third place, ahead of Italy which ended the year with 65,000 units sold; Spain ranked fifth with 45,500 vehicles sold.
In 2015, all main countries in the eurozone reported positive trends compared to the previous year: the increase (as a percentage) was highest in Spain (+22.5%), with a very good performance also recorded in the United Kingdom (+18%), Italy (+13.7%) and Germany (+8.4%), while France recorded a slight downturn (0.8%).
The recovery of the motorcycle market in North America (USA and Canada) confirmed the trend underway in the past three years: 2015 ended with an increase of 4.4%, and 524,000 units were sold compared to 502,000 in the previous year. In the United States (accounting for 89% of the area), the motorcycle segment improved, recording a 4.6% increase, selling 470,600 units against 450,000 units in 2014. The trend on the Canadian market was also positive, ending the year with 53,700 units sold and an increase of 2.3%.
India is the most important motorcycle market in Asia, selling over 10.5 million units in 2015, accounting for a 3.4% decrease.
The motorcycle market in the Asean 5 area is far less important than the scooter sector. Sales of motorcycles in Vietnam were not significant. In other countries, the highest sales were recorded in Indonesia; however with 839 thousand units sold, it reported a decrease of 33.2% compared to the previous year.
In 2015, the European market for light commercial vehicles (vehicles with a maximum mass of up to 3.5 tons) where the Piaggio Group operates, accounted for 1.7 million units sold, up 11.6% compared to 2014 (source ACEA data). In detail, the trends of main European reference markets are as follows: Germany (+4.2%), France (+2.0%), Italy (+12.4%) and Spain (+36.1%).
Sales on the Indian three-wheeler market, where Piaggio Vehicles Private Limited, a subsidiary of Piaggio & C. S.p.A. operates, fell from 531,500 units in 2014 to 514,000 in 2015, registering a 3.3% decrease.
Within this market, the passenger vehicle subsegment reported a negative trend, decreasing by 2.9% and closing with 419,000 units. The cargo segment reported a decrease of 5.1%, from 100,000 units in 2014 to 95,000 units in 2015. The traditional three-wheeler market is flanked by the four-wheeler light commercial vehicles (LCV) market (cargo vehicles for goods transport) where Piaggio Vehicles Private Limited operates. The LCV cargo market, with vehicles with a maximum mass below 2 tons and where the Porter 600 and Porter 1000 compete, accounted for 115,400 units sold in 2015, falling by 16.6% compared to 2014.