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Piaggio USA Launches the New Vespa LX Scooter to U.S. Market


New Model Anticipates 60 Years of Vespa Style and Innovation

NEW YORK, May 10 -- In anticipation of sixty years in production, Piaggio USA, manufacturer of the world-famous Vespa scooter and pioneer of the two-wheel vehicle, has announced the debut of the new Vespa LX motor scooter. The "LX" (Roman numeral for 60) is the latest addition to the classic Vespa line and is designed to provide riders with the optimal performance and ease of use that have characterized Vespa as one of the world's best-known vehicles since 1946.

Shipping now and due to arrive at authorized Piaggio USA and Vespa dealers across the country by early summer, the LX has a starting MSRP of $3,199. The LX will also come will a full new line of accessories.

"The LX is a marriage of the classic and contemporary elements of Vespa's history and exemplifies our tradition of elegance and performance," said Paolo Timoni, CEO of Piaggio USA. "Sixty years of product evolution, superior functionality and a passion for design are realized in a scooter that epitomizes Vespa's iconic status and cutting-edge technology."

Set apart by its sleek, steel-body and modern design, the LX delivers both superior handling and eye-catching appeal. Vintage-style headlamps and side mirrors along with expanded storage space are among the many elements that make the LX both practical and fashionable.

The Vespa LX packs a powerful punch with its optimized engine performance and agile maneuvering capabilities. The four stroke scooter comes equipped with both a 50cc and 150 cc engine to accommodate the needs of any rider. The Vespa LX has a maximum speed of over 65 mph and like other Vespas meets California's CARB standards.

Recent sales figures released by Piaggio USA point toward the rising popularity and increased awareness of scootering as a viable and affordable means of transportation in America. In 2004, U.S. retail sales of Vespa and Piaggio scooters rose 22.6% and its market share increased substantially in key American cities.

"Scootering is that perfect blend of passion and practicality," said Timoni. "Riding a Vespa, whether for a weekend escape or to commute each day to the office, allows the rider to experience his or her environment in a whole new way. It carries a powerful sense of freedom. At the same time, more Americans are discovering that scooters are a smart way to save time and money, particularly given climbing gas prices and increasing traffic congestion. As scootering continues to grow in the U.S., we see the LX as the premiere choice for customers who want something both practical and fun."

The LX also features an array of color choices that enhance its modern design and classic overtones. These selections include: Graphite Black, Excalibur Gray, Diamond White, Aurora Blue, Daring Plum and Dragon Red. Customers can further personalize their scooters with a variety of accessories, including top case, chrome kits, and an electronic anti-theft device.

Vespa was introduced in 1946 as a means of personal transportation and a symbol of freedom in post-war Europe. It has since become a worldwide symbol of Italian design, having sold more than 16 million units in five continents. The LX replaces the popular Vespa ET series that was introduced in 1996 and produced over 460,000 units.

For more information on the LX and its availability, please visit .

  Additional Key Features:

  * Optional full windshield offering excellent protection
  * Five-spoke, aluminum alloy wheels with 11" rims
  * Large, flat footrest panel
  * Well-shaped wide saddle to comfortably seat both rider and passenger
  * Bag hook on the front of the saddle to rest small bags
  * Central kick stand for easy parking
  * Dual effect hydraulic front suspension with single shock absorber with
    spring preload option
  * 8.6 liter fuel tank and easy access to engine area

  About The Piaggio Group:

Established in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio, and based in Pontedera (Pisa, Italy), the Piaggio Group is one of the world's top manufacturers of two-wheel motor vehicles.

The Group is controlled by Immsi S.p.A., an industrial and services holding listed on the Milan Stock Exchange and headed by Roberto Colaninno, who is Piaggio Chairman. Piaggio Chief Executive Officer is Rocco Sabelli.

In 2004, the Piaggio Group reported consolidated net sales of 1,084.2 million euro (+9.8% on 2003) and a return to net profit after four years of losses.

With the acquisition of the Aprilia Group, on 30 December 2004, Piaggio ranks as one of the world's top four players in its core business, with:

  * A consolidated leadership on the European 2-wheeler market, where it had
    a 24% share end 2004 (35% in Italy) and a particularly strong presence
    in the scooter and 50cc vehicles segment,  with 40% market share in
    Europe and 48% in Italy;
  * An annual production capacity of 600,000 vehicles in the two- and three-
    wheel segments and in the four-wheel commercial vehicle segment;
  * Seven production facilities, 4 in Italy and 3 abroad (India, Spain,
    People's Republic of China);
  * Six R&D centers;
  * 6,000 employees;
  * Operations in over 50 countries.

Production includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to over 1000 cc displacement range for the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Scarabeo brands. The Group also manufactures three- and four- wheeled light commercial vehicles for the Ape, Porter and Quargo ranges.

In its more than 120-year history the company has been active in almost every area of transport: from naval fittings to the construction of locomotives and rolling stock, from engines for the aeronautics sector to seaplanes and civil and military aircraft.

In recent years, however, Piaggio has focused on personal mobility. With the introduction of the Vespa scooter in 1946, Piaggio not only led the way in meeting the growing demand for personal mobility, which continues to be a feature of modern society, but also created a universally recognized symbol of Italian style with a product that has been, and remains, an outstanding success story, with more than 16 million Vespa scooters produced to date.