To celebrate 130 years of Piaggio, an example of the excellence in Italian industry, a modern reinterpretation of the "bolted book" by Fortunato Depero.
By Jeffrey Schnapp
Piaggio was founded in the highly productive climate of Italy's industrialization, fast becoming one of its leading actors and aligning its industrial development with the country’s extraordinary economic and civil growth. In the post-World War Two period, and after having concerned itself with the design and production of the most diverse forms of the transport of goods and people, Piaggio took its name and that of its products around the world, thus becoming the very symbol of Italian and European industry, linking its name to the theme of mobility that has always been synonymous with freedom.
Businesses, like living organisms, have their own genetic code, an intimate trait that marks their existence, guides their actions, and, lastly, determines their fate. Piaggio has based its history and success on a love for innovation, on the capacity to imagine a future invisible to others, and to understand, interpret, and hence, satisfy people’s needs, even the needs of those who are beginning their lives today, wherever they may be in the world. It has done so for 130 years, and it continues to do so today.
Today Piaggio and its brands are actors on the global stage, providing innovative mobility solutions both in mature Western markets and in the emerging countries. Piaggio is in India, Vietnam, and China, accompanying the economic and social development of countries and populations that are the locomotive of the world, seeking solutions and new proposals to the theme of mobility to make everyone’s life, at every latitude, easier and more sustainable.
Our product range goes from small scooters to sports motorbikes, which also play leading roles on the race tracks and in the world’s top competitions, from commercial vehicles to revolutionary ones, such as the first and most widespread hybrid-powered scooter in the world, from the sumptuous motorcycles designed for endless distances to icons of elegance like Vespa, unanimously recognized as one of the symbols not only of style but also of Italian culture.
With the third millennium now under way, Piaggio is a group that operates in the world, and that distributes its points of excellence around the world, because we want to be at the forefront wherever ideas are created, wherever innovation and lifestyles are born that will influence the decades to come. For this reason Piaggio Fast Forward has its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, where research, the university, visions of the future, technology, and business forge positive synergies.
The Piaggio Group remains deeply committed to playing a leadership role in this emerging, expanding universe of mobility, where scooters, motorcycles, and other light mobility vehicles will become ever smarter, and ever more connected and interconnected. Innovation means vision and imagination as well as rigor and technical know-how.
In a few decades our planet’s population will double, and megalopolises whose dimensions we can only imagine will accommodate tens of millions of people. The challenges that these scenarios, together with the progress of new technologies, pose us are a testing ground never before faced by the human race. Mobility and therefore the social relations in these new urban environments, the eco-sustainability of complex systems like that of transport, the interaction between vehicles, networks, users, and environments, are just a few of the trials that we shall be facing in the next few years.
The challenge will be to be able to speak to the new generations, and interpret their needs that we still do not know about. In an extraordinary moment of technological, economic, and social transformation, we are called to do something different and harder than 'simply' learn from our history: we must cherish its lessons and, at the same time, continue to write it, pursuing the road of continuous innovation, following with coherence and vision the same values that underlie our work and that have guided us for over 130 years.