New York, NY, May 22, 2006 - As gas prices soar to record highs, a new national survey released today found that 30% of U.S. consumers would be extremely or somewhat likely to consider using a motor scooter for their everyday transportation needs. According to the survey conducted in the first week of May of 2006, these individuals indicated a willingness to transfer 35% of their weekly mileage to a scooter.
By comparing the results of the survey to Department of Energy national averages for fuel consumption and emissions, the findings establish that if Americans were to utilize one of the latest eco-friendly scooters available in the market today, they could, in aggregate, reduce national fuel consumption by 14 million gallons of gasoline per day and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 324 million lbs. per day.
"Scooters" were defined in the survey as two-wheel vehicles that can reach 40-100mph, whose average cost is $2,000 or above. The survey was fielded by ICR on behalf of Piaggio Group Americas, the manufacturer of the Vespa® brand scooter and a leading manufacturer of two-wheel vehicles.
"The benefits of scooters are well known around the globe, as they are part of the daily behavior for millions of people worldwide," said Paolo Timoni, President and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas. "While growing in popularity, scooters are only marginally embraced in the U.S. where millions of individuals drive cars in situations where motor scooters would be perfectly appropriate and convenient. Scooters are an additional transportation solution to help reduce consumer gas spending, but also provide an environmentally friendly transportation mode as a result of its high MPG and modern engine technologies."
The survey found other strong factors motivating consumer's willingness to consider utilizing a scooter, including environmental concerns and overall cost savings. The survey found that 33% of Americans would be likely to use a scooter to reduce emission harmful to the environment, 35% would be likely to use a scooter to save $25.00 a week on gasoline.
This survey underscores the growing popularity of two-wheel vehicles. Scooter sales have increased tremendously over the past two years and manufacturers are preparing for a busy summer of record sales. U.S. sales of all Piaggio brand scooters through its dealer network increased by an impressive 15% in 2005. These achievements were driven by the launch of new dealerships, new products and overall increased brand awareness in key U.S. markets. Piaggio, which re-entered the U.S. market in 2000, now has dealerships in over 100 locations - over 50 of which have opened since January 2005.