In the first half of this year, the major brands -– including Vespa, Piaggio, Honda and Yamaha -– sold 18,198 scooters, up 28.9% from the same period last year. The increase was greater than any other category of motorcycle, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.
Melissa R. MacCaull, vice president of Vespa and Piaggio owner Piaggio Group Americas, said there’s lots more room for growth.
Scooters make up only a tiny percentage of vehicle sales in the United States. But in Europe, where gas is expensive and the traffic-dense cities are conducive to scooters and motorcyles, scooters are often the first motorized vehicle a teen operates.
Vespa is seeing increasing sales of its larger-displacment scooters, models that offer 150 cc to 300 cc engines that allow the bikes to travel at freeway speeds. MacCaull says that’s a sign that more people are starting to use the vehicles for their daily commute.“People in America are starting to see scooters as a way to save money and get places faster,” MacCaull said.