Milan, 23 March 2017 – The Piaggio Group today celebrated its 130th anniversary with an event at the Vetra Theatre in Milan, attended by Chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno. The celebration was packed with significant moments, and offered a window on the future of today’s leading European player in light mobility. Those present included Jeffrey Schnapp, author of the book FuturPiaggio and CEO of Piaggio Fast Forward, and Stefano Belisari, aka Elio, the front man of the band “Elio e le Storie Tese”, who has always had a passion for classic Piaggio vehicles.
FROM LEFT: VESPA 946 (RED), JEFFREY SCHNAPP, ELIO, ROBERTO COLANINNO AND GITA.
Since the company was established in the second half of the XIX century, its history has been interwoven with the extraordinary economic, civil and cultural growth of Italy and Europe. With the creation of the Vespa scooter, and having designed and produced a wide variety of cargo and passenger vehicles, Piaggio has become a worldwide symbol of Italian industry, revolutionizing the concept of mobility, a synonym of freedom, on a number of occasions.OFFICIAL VIDEO: THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH
(English translation of the video: “I believe Piaggio is one of Italy's greatest industrial players, and its history demonstrates this. And this book testifies 100 per cent to what I have just said. Let’s not forget that Piaggio invented the helicopter, let’s not forget that Piaggio invented the famous littorina locomotive, let’s not forget that Piaggio came up with the extraordinary little automobile in the Piaggio Museum today. And then the Vespa. First of all, we have to congratulate Piaggio on launching a product that is a witness of the future – Gita is a witness of the future – and it has been developed to date in the United States, Cambridge, in the offices in Boston, but its spirit is certainly in Pontedera (in Italy), at Piaggio. This is a very satisfying day for me, and a very exciting one because we’re starting over again and once again presenting an extraordinary story”.)
The Milan event was the occasion for the presentation of the book “FuturPiaggio – 6 Italian lessons on mobility and modern life, a luxury book published in a limited numbered edition by Rizzoli. The volume has a unique and extremely sophisticated graphics design, inspired by an example of excellence in the history of publishing, Fortunato Depero’s bolted book from 1927, a clear reference to the Group’s industrial vocation and innovative spirit.
FuturPiaggio looks at milestones in the history of Piaggio, examining its most iconic products and the story of its men and brands (Vespa, Piaggio, Gilera, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, Derbi, Scarabeo and Ape), names with a rich history and always at the cutting edge of innovation. A story now projected towards the future thanks to Piaggio Fast Forward, the Group company based in the USA, which has unveiled a new concept in mobility with innovative projects such as Gita and Kilo, the smart cargo robots presented in Boston a few weeks ago and currently under development and testing.
FUTURPIAGGIO – 6 ITALIAN LESSONS ON MOBILITY AND MODERN LIFE.
THE PREFACE OF ROBERTO COLANINNO
In covering the Group’s 130-year history, the book ranges from the roots of Moto Guzzi to the advanced motorcycling technology achievements at Aprilia Racing, from the creation of the Vespa to the worldwide success of the Piaggio brand as the Group expanded on the international stage. The pre-war period also has an important place and, like the other sections of the book, is illustrated with fascinating archive images, many never previously published, which recount an often surprising story.
At the same time, the luxury book also takes a look at the future, without neglecting the challenges awaiting the Piaggio Group as it prepares to confirm its role as a leader in the new age of mobility, or "movibility", as the book’s author, Jeffrey Schnapp (Professor of Romance Literatures and Comparative Literature at the Department of Architecture and Design at Harvard), calls it in a Manifesto set out in the publication.
THE VOLUME. Limited numbered edition. Bolted card with case. 84 “Japanese” four-page signatures (for a total of 336 pages of which 172 on sight). 31.5 x 24.5 cm, 500 colors and black/white images. Available in two versions: English; Italian.
THE BOOK IS BUYING ONLINE IN THE PIAGGIO GROUP WEBSITE:
The Piaggio Group celebrated its 130 years of history during an event at the Vetra Theatre in Milan and it did so presenting the book “FuturPiaggio – 6 Italian lessons on mobility and modern life”, a narrative of the brand's chronicles, its great inventions, its undertakings and its staff.
"The book is a summary of what Piaggio is – said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roberto Colaninno in a press conference during the event – the testimony of a company and the people who have worked there, of the fact that we are a great country, capable of doing extraordinary things. In its 130 years of history, Piaggio has done extraordinary things. It is a company that has demonstrated the ability to innovate products in a way that is unthinkable in Italy. We invented the helicopter and the patent was then sold, the diesel rail-car, a car that was the forerunner of the 500, we designed airplanes and, of course, the Vespa. We have received the baton of this history and now we must take it forward.”
ROBERTO COLANINNO WITH "GITA”, THE CARGO ROBOT DESIGNED BY PIAGGIO FAST FORWARD, ON STAGE OF THE EVENT. RELATED ARTICLES IN THE INNOVATION COLUMN. IN THE PHOTO BELOW, HE IS ALONG WITH JEFFREY SCHNAPP, CEO OF PFF AND AUTHOR OF THE BOOK “FUTURPIAGGIO”.
The CEO Roberto Colaninno then laid out the guidelines of the Group's future: “The future of Piaggio is to continue taking the Group's products all over the world. To give a few examples, in the Boston Piaggio Fast Forward offices, Gita was born, a robotic vehicle with thirty young people working on the project, representing the future of global technology in the mobility field. We are also consolidating the Vespa Elettrica project – that we will launch on the market in the early months of next year – and we have launched the ‘China’ project with the idea that electric technology will undergo strong development in that country as the primary solution to what has become an unsustainable transport and traffic problem. It is a project that we are beginning to design now and it is still in the definition and development stage. It will take about a year – Chairman Roberto Colaninno concluded – but China will be a huge electric vehicle market and we believe that Piaggio cannot afford not to be present there.”