Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Piaggio gets €150 million loan from EIB, will develop hybrid and electric two-wheelers

Piaggio will be working towards the development of new-age hybrid and battery-powered electric two-wheelers. The 150 million euro loan from EIB should certainly help...!

The Piaggio Group, which owns the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Aprilia, Derbi and Moto Guzzi brands, will soon be getting a loan of €150 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB), which the company intends to invest towards research and development over the next few years.

According to Michele Pallottini, the COO – Finance, Piaggio Group, the funding will allow Piaggio to expand its R&D activities and start work towards the development of safer, more fuel efficient two-wheelers that are also more environment-friendly.

The EIB has big plans for supporting the European automotive industry and helping it move towards the development of cleaner, greener vehicles that offer ‘sustainable mobility’ in the years to come. The idea is to lessen the impact of the global financial crisis on the European automotive industry, and ensure that the industry keeps moving in the right direction without losing focus.

Taking sales of all its brands into account, the Piaggio Group’s sales were down 5.5% in the first nine months of this year, with the company selling 537,900 units in the January-September 2008 period, compared to 569,300 units sold during the same period in 2007.

Piaggio, which has to pay off the €150 million loan over a period of seven years, intends to invest the money in the development of hybrid and electric vehicles, as well towards the development of two-wheeler safety technologies.

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