As Scooter Style was one of the top dealers for Piaggio/Vespa in Australia, we were invited to check out their new factory in Vietnam in July. Piaggio / Vespa is still Italian but they are expanding their factories throughout Asia to assist in building their brand around the world. The Piaggio / Vespa factory in Vietnam is pretty new, the first scooters being made in 2010. It is a state of the art production line which is committed to a long term growth plan. They have a bucket load of room to grow as demand for their scooters increases .
Hanoi is an amazing city, the most scooters anywhere in Asia. They are everywhere, with a population of 90 million, it seems nearly everyone has a scooter. Our tour guide was telling us that the usual mode of operation is – graduate from school, get a job, buy a scooter, marry and then look for a house of your own. Apparently it is easier to marry if you already have a scooter – it is a bit of a status symbol. The better the scooter, the better chances you have of a good marriage.
Our visit to the factory, on the outskirts of Hanoi, was just terrific. Starting with a presentation from management telling us what has been happening in the world of Piaggio / Vespa, accompanied by espresso and biscotti (yes, they only serve espresso! Very Italian!). Then onto the factory floor. The factory is huge, we walked through about so many buildings and saw all stages of the manufacture. From the frame dipping, to the engine builds, to the paintwork on the panels, the assembly and then the quality control and checks. We were escorted around the engine assembly production line by the designer of the line, who was very proud of his work and his workers. The line is fully computerised with a worker at each station. The scanner reads what engine type is sitting on the line and then automatically ensures that the correct parts are installed and tested. This testing is pretty specific with the tolerance margins set really tightly. This process continues throughout the entire line and is so specific that if they then have a quality issue in final testing they can trace it back through all stages of the assembly process and then refine their tolerance margins accordingly.
After lunch, we were over at the Piaggio / Vespa test track to try out some of the new models, including the Vespa Primavera 125. That should have really been work, but it was just soooo much fun. I thought I would have to leave Scott there as he just kept going from scooter to scooter. If there was a scooter not being ridden, he was on it.
It was a fantastic trip and a great opportunity to see where our scooters are being built. Scott and I are lucky enough to have seen the Piaggio / Vespa factories in both Hanoi, Vietnam and Pontedera , Italy.
Thanks to all our customers for their support and in making us one of the top Piaggio / Vespa Dealers in Australia!