Since the Second World War, Piaggio has pioneered the mobility revolution, improving the quality of life of Italians and other Europeans.

Museo Piaggio
Piaggio Finale Ligure

From inception to aviation


Piaggio's story begins

On September 5ᵗʰ, Enrico Piaggio closed the deal to purchase a plot of land in Sestri Ponente (near Genoa) where he planned to build a wood-working plant to supply the shipbuilding industry. His young son Rinaldo soon joined him in the project.

1884 - 1889

Piaggio & C. is set up

Rinaldo establishes his own company, Piaggio & C, and chooses ship outfitting as its core business. The company - based in Sestri Ponente - is modern, efficient and highly mechanised. 1889 marks the year of Attilio Odero's arrival, the company’s debut into the railways sector and the acquisition of a new workshop in Finale Marina.


Aeronautical production starts

Aeronautical production starts. The social role that Rinaldo Piaggio attributes to the company is soon clear: to help create jobs and contribute to national economic development. In 1920 the Company is restructured and Attilio Odero becomes Chairman and Rinaldo Piaggio becomes Chief Executive Officer. Set on developing the aviation business, Rinaldo Piaggio hires two engineers - Giovanni Pegna and Giuseppe Gabrielli - and puts them in charge of the Rondine aircraft prototype engineering project.

1938 Sestri
1939 Aereo Piaggio
1940 Pubblicita Aerei

1924 - 1945
From the first patents to the first modern helicopter

1924 - 1937

Production starts at Pontedera

With the purchase of the factory at Pontedera, production of engines and vehicles starts, no longer under licence but under its own patent. A very successful period in the company's history begins: exports soar, as well as the number of employees, and Piaggio begins to manufacture virtually anything that has to do with transportation: cableway cars, funicular railways, trailers, trams, trucks and trolley buses.


Rinaldo Piaggio dies

Rinaldo Piaggio dies and his two sons take over as Chief Executive Officers. Armando is responsible for the production facilities in Genova-Sestri and Finale Ligure, which focus mainly on the aviation and railway industries, while Enrico manages the sites in Pisa and Pontedera and nurtures an ambitious project: to help make mobility affordable and accessible to Italians by designing a simple, low-cost, easy-to-use vehicle. To develop his idea, Enrico calls Corradino D’Ascanio, the brilliant aeronautical engineer who fathered the first modern helicopter.

1948 pubblicità ape
Vespa GL Rome Castel Sant Angelo

From the rise of the Vespa myth to the Gilera takeover


The first Vespa

The first Vespa prototype was produced in Pontedera and immediately put on the market. After a timid debut, sales pick up speed towards the end of that same year. The Vespa is a huge, unprecedented success: the company was to turn out nearly one million units during the following decade and success soon expanded to export markets.


New products: Ape and Moscone

While the Vespa export figures keep growing, new products are born: 1948 is the year of the Ape, a compact light transport vehicle that was to play a key role in reviving trade activities amidst the ruins of post-war Italy. The following year saw the birth of Moscone, a small, innovative marine outboard engine.


I.A.M Rinaldo Piaggio and Piaggio & C. split

I.A.M Rinaldo Piaggio (aviation-railway industry) and Piaggio & C. (scooters) split. In 1965, after the death of Enrico Piaggio, Umberto Agnelli took over the presidency of Piaggio & C.

1967 - 1969

From the Ciao to Gilera

Two years later Ciao is launched, forefather of contemporary mopeds. 1969 is the year of the Gilera takeover. The Arcore-based company is one of oldest European motorcycle manufacturers and is well renowned for its racing success.

Collage Vespa

Time to diversify

1973 - 1988

New vehicles for urban mobility and agriculture

The Bravo moped is launched, tractor production starts. In 1979 the new company Piaggio Adriatica S.p.A. of Lanciano is set up with a factory in Atessa. After the acquisition of Bianchi in 1981, Piaggio sees a minor crisis with the Vespa, which is buffered by the introduction of new vehicles such as Cosa, Superbravo, Grillo, and ApeCar D, all launched over 1987 and 1988. In the latter year, Gustavo Denegri becomes Piaggio Chairman, with Giovanni Alberto Agnelli on the Board of Directors.

1990 - 1994

Giovanni Alberto Agnelli Chairman

The start of the 1990s sees the establishment of Piaggio & C. as a holding company, while Giovanni Alberto Agnelli is chosen as Chairman of Piaggio Veicoli Europei S.p.A.. Sfera is created, the first scooter with a plastic body, made in Pontedera. In 1994, Hexagon is launched, a milestone in the maxi scooter segment.

1996 - 1997

Fifty years of Vespa

The new Vespa is launched on the 50tᵗʰ anniversary of its revolutionary predecessor created by Enrico Piaggio and Corradino D'Ascanio. The following year is marked by the untimely death of Giovanni Alberto Agnelli. The Piaggio Group, led by Chairman Alessandro Barberis (whose successor will be Dante Razzano in 2001) with Stefano Rosselli Del Turco serving as Chief Executive Officer, is on the verge of a change in ownership.

Vespa los angeles
Fabbrica DERBI
Vespa decolla in USA

The Group evolves

1999 - 2000

Vespa takes off in the USA

In 1999, control of the company passes to Morgan Grenfell Private Equity. The following year, Piaggio USA opens its first Vespa Boutique in Los Angeles: an event which marks the return of Piaggio and of the Vespa to the United States, where so far over 60 Vespa Boutiques have been opened.


The Piaggio Group acquires Derbi-Nacional Motor S.A.

The Piaggio Group acquires Derbi-Nacional Motor S.A., a historical Spanish marque, brand leader in the small-capacity motorcycles segment. That same year, Gilera makes its return to the racing arena and wins the championship: Manuel Poggiali wins the rider's world championship in the 125cc category, adding yet another title to Gilera's collection of speed racing victories, that now totals 6 manufacturers' titles and 7 riders' titles. Under the Piaggio brand Beverly is launched, a high-wheel scooter which will become a landmark in urban mobility, always evolving its style and increasing in size up to 500 cc.


Colaninno era began

Immsi S.p.A., an industrial and real estate holding company listed on the Milan stock exchange controlled by entrepreneur Roberto Colaninno, takes over financial control of the Piaggio Group's Italian and foreign operations. Top management turnover follows when Roberto Colaninno is appointed Chairman of the Piaggio Group and Rocco Sabelli becomes the new Chief Executive Officer. Gianclaudio Neri is appointed General Manager.

Pontedera factory vespa
Motoplex Hong Kong

From Stock Exchange listing to the first Hybrid engine

2004 - 2005

Piaggio among the world leaders for two-wheelers

Piaggio signs a strategic agreement with the Chinese Zongshen Group for the manufacture and sale of engines, vehicles and components based on Italian technology for the Asian market. The final contract is signed for the purchase of the Aprilia - Moto Guzzi Group. The Italian 2-wheel hub is thus created: 1.5 billion Euro in turnover, 24% of the European ‘two-wheel’ market and 35% of the Italian market, over 600,000 vehicles a year, 6,000 employees and 8 factories worldwide, a presence in over 50 countries. Following the Aprilia transaction, IMMSI S.p.A. becomes the main shareholder with a total stake of 40%, which confirms the strategic importance of IMMSI’s investment in Piaggio. At its first meeting, the Board of Directors of Aprilia S.p.A. appoints Roberto Colaninno as Chairman.


Piaggio invents the 3-wheeled scooter and goes public

Piaggio & C. is listed on the Italian Stock Market. Piaggio’s MP3, the first 3-wheeled scooter, is presented.


World titles for Aprilia, Gilera and Derbi

Aprilia wins the manufacturers' title in the 125cc and 250cc world championships. The Italian rider Marco Simoncelli, with his Gilera, wins the 250cc world title and the French champion Mike Di Meglio, riding a Derbi, wins the 125cc world title.


The first hybrid scooter in the world

The design is completed for a new hybrid engine for Piaggio MP3. The first hybrid scooter in the world powered by twin engines, one electric and one thermal, which work together. Piaggio Vietnam Ltd., Vietnamese subsidiary of Piaggio Group, officially launches sale in the local market of the Vespa LX scooter produced in its plant located in the Binh Xuyen industrial district (province of Vinh Phuc). The Aprilia brand launches the RSV4 supersport bike. An extremely innovative product characterised by the exclusive motoring technology of the V4, a one litre, four cylinder narrow V engine. The RSV4 makes its début simultaneously in World SBK.

Vespa RED
Motoplex Hong Kong

2010 - 2016
From Moto GP to new horizons in innovation


Historic Aprilia victory in SBK with Max Biaggi

Just one season after making their début, the RSV4 and Max Biaggi triumph in the World SBK Championship, taking both the Manufacturer and Rider title. The victory is historic - the first one by an Italian rider on an Italian bike in the top world championship for factory derivative bikes. The new high-wheel Beverly 300 makes its debut.


A new stage of development in Asia Pacific

In Vietnam a new and decisive stage in the development of operations in Asia Pacific is launched, with the opening of a new engine factory, the annual output of which will reach 300,000 vehicles. The Piaggio brand returns to a leading role in the sought-after maxi scooter segment with Piaggio X10, which is available in 125, 350 and 500 cc versions. At the end of the 2012 season, in which all the major constructors are in the running until the final bend, Aprilia is triumphant in the World Superbike. Once again it is a double victory: Max Biaggi wins the Riders title and Aprilia RSV4 heads the field in the Constructors championship.


Aprilia world champion in SBK

Aprilia is world superbike 2013 manufacturer champion. This is Aprilia's fifth title in SBKk in the last four years and world championship number 52 for the Italian brand. Ewan McGregor, the Hollywood star, is the public face of Moto Guzzi. The Piaggio Group launches "Vespa for Children" as part of its corporate social responsibility.


Motoplex, the new store format

In June 2014 the first Motoplex was opened in Mantua. Motoplex is a new and revolutionary “concept store” that promotes the best of the Piaggio Group in a single location. Much more than a simple shop, the Motoplex concept connects the physical setting with the digital world, breathing life into a true motorcycling experience in a high quality space that is capable of informing and involving the public as never before. The French rider Sylvain Guintoli is the SBK World Champion and also leads Aprilia to become the Constructors’ World Champion. This is the 54th world title won by Aprilia across all categories.


PFF is set up and Aprilia competes in MotoGP

Piaggio Fast Forward comes into being in Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA), as a new company set up and controlled by the Piaggio Group. Its purpose is to develop a new way of doing research, in order to interpret the signs of change and find smart solutions to future problems and the new needs that will arise. Aprilia returns to competing in MotoGP. Medley, the new city scooter, is launched in the 125 and 150 cc versions. Vespa makes its mark with a special series of the 946 model in partnership with Emporio Armani.


Wi-Bike and Vespa (RED)

Vespa is the only two-wheeled protagonist at Shopathon, the campaign organised by (RED) which contributes to the dream of generating an “AIDS-free generation” and collects USD 97 million. The Piaggio brand presents Wi-Bike which evolves the concept of electrically assisted-pedal bicycle.

Vespa Dior
JB Vespa
Aprilia All Star

From 2017 to date
New models and new collaborations


Vespa turns electric

Vespa Elettrica is launched, the contemporary icon of the best of Italian technology. Vespa Elettrica is synonymous with advanced connectivity and minimal noise, customization and accessibility, respect for the environment and a unique style.


First edition of Aprilia All Stars

Mugello hosts the first edition of Aprilia All Stars, the celebration of the brand which brings together tens of thousands of fans to admire the historic bikes made in Noale and the modern MotoGP bikes together with Aprilia riders and the great champions of the past. The first edition of Moto Guzzi Fast Endurance is held.


Vespa teams up with the Dior brand

A new motorcycling platform is set up under the Aprilia brand, an ultra-modern, high-performance 660 cc twin-cylinder engine, which is the basis for new models such as RS, Tuono and the offroad Tuareg. Vespa forms another important partnership, with the launch of the Vespa 946 Dior.


100 years of Moto Guzzi and 75 years of Vespa

Moto Guzzi celebrates its 100ᵗʰ anniversary and announces a plan for the complete restructuring of the Mandello del Lario factory and new models. Vespa celebrates its 75ᵗʰ anniversary. The new Piaggio 1 is launched, the electric scooter for urban commuting. With the opening in Istanbul, Turkey, there are now 500 Motoplexes worldwide.


Justin Bieber puts his name to the new Vespa

Vespa continues its highly prestigious partnerships. After the collaborations with artists, stylists and designers from around the world, such as Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior and Sean Wotherspoon, and the leading role in Luca, the first Disney-Pixar film set in Italy, 2022 sees the start of an extraordinary and unprecedented collaboration in the world pop scene with Justin Bieber. The internationally acclaimed music star with millions of fans all over the world creates the JUSTIN BIEBER X VESPA, a new and exclusive Vespa model personally ideated and designed by the popstar. Aprilia gains its first victory in MotoGP and, with the rider Aleix Espargaró, remains in contention for the world title up to the final races. With eight podium finishes and two pole positions, Aprilia closes out its best season in the premier category of the MotoGP championship.


Mickey Mouse Vespa

Two iconic brands unite in a limited edition celebrating a very special anniversary: Vespa presents the Disney Mickey Mouse Edition by Vespa.
For this collaboration, the Vespa Primavera features a black, red, white and yellow paint scheme: the colours of the most famous mouse in the world created by Disney genius. The yellow wheels are inspired by the shoes of Mickey Mouse while the black mirrors recall his distinctive round ears.


Vespa 946 celebrates its anniversary, dedicating a special edition to the year of the rabbit

The 10th Anniversary Vespa 946 is the first limited and numbered collection dedicated to the year of the rabbit, marking the start of an important 12-year project which will involve the release of annual editions featuring the iconography of each year's lunar horoscope.


New Vespa GTV, the sportiest model yet

Since its inception in 2006, the Vespa GTV has been considered the most classic member of the Vespa family thanks to its “low headlight” positioned on the front mudguard and exposed metal tube handlebars, style references to the most iconic models.
In 2023, the Vespa GTV debuts a totally revolutionised look, keeping its signature references to the legendary original but combining them with ultra-modern technological equipment and new sporty finishes. The result is an extraordinary mix of tradition and modernity, classicism and audacity, which comes to life in the most authentically sporty Vespa yet.


Aprilia RS 457, a new chapter of the Aprilia RS saga

RS 457 is a historic step for Aprilia and not just technically speaking. Aprilia’s new twin-cylinder sports bike is designed with completely new targets and markets in mind, to intercept the growing global demand for easy but fun, technologically and stylistically cutting-edge motorcycles aimed at large market segments.


Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa

The new sports version of Moto Guzzi's best seller unveiled in front of thousands of enthusiasts who flocked to Mandello for Open House 2023. It is reminiscent of the V7 legend, timeless sportiness and the magical atmospheres of past races. The V7 Stone range is also available in the brand-new Camo Green.


Moto Guzzi Stelvio - Neverending journey

The legendary name returns, always synonymous with adventure tourism: Moto Guzzi presents Stelvio, the neverending journey. Stelvio is the new on-off road bike with a strong personality, born from Moto Guzzi’s advanced technical know-how. It features a high-performance compact block twin-cylinder and innovative technologies for riding pleasure and safety. The “PFF rider assistance solution” system developed in Boston by Piaggio Fast Forward makes its debut on the Stelvio, for safer riding in every situation thanks to robotics-powered radar technology.