Tag Archives: scooter

m-b to sell smart ev scooter in 2014

mb’s smart ev scooter is set to sell

I take last week’s news of Daimler’s entry into the green scooter market come 2014 as more of a solidification of their alt transport low-zero emissions SMART brand than any sudden two-wheeled epiphany. Miniscule financial risk, max pr value, and a lot of genuine utilitarian functionality backed by diamond plated quality control, first class marketing, global distribution, and built-in market affinity even though Smart car sales haven’t exactly soared as first envisioned.

The news accompanied the announcement by Reuters of this summer’s Smart ForTwo four-wheeled ev launch.

How tough will it be to convince yacht sailing, pied-รก-terre dwelling, polo pony riding ‘Benz owners to swipe their debit card and pick one up – I see a discreet POS gift card offering by the cashier’s window – on the way out of the dealership? Answer: not too. You’ll look in vain, by the bye, for these same folks at a local indie scooter store.

Not everyone’s convinced. This Automotive News critique after the initial 2010 announcement pans not just M-B, but the entire scooter riding universe. Oh well. For Daimler it’s almost all about reputation: expecting however many scooter sales to add significantly to the bottom line is hallucinatory. Much easier to boost profits selling Dyson cordless vacs as P&A. A rolling ev test bed, on the other hand, is not, and that’s scaleable.

For in-depth analysis of M-B’s 2-wheeled move, Martin Racing Performance’s blog goes on at length and in great detail on Daimler’s decision, with insider perspective on what it means for the nascent EV scooter/mc channel overall.

Magic 8 Ball: if this does work out, might the technology be licensed to existing badges? One might well imagine.

deja vu redux

blast from the pastFast Company blogs the return of the Cub. Supercub that is, aka Honda C100, as seen at Indy in the Carter-Sym booth. Rebranded as Symba – oh, we get it – and as a knockoff over in the stadium at flyscooters display as a proto version to gauge reaction.

Available next month with out the door pricing of $2,600, the ’60s icon that last sold in the US back in the early ’80s joins a very crowded field in a price sensative market, all jockeying for position in a shell shocked economy shaped by gas prices and recession woes.

vespa from oz

New Orleans alternative radio station WWOZ – one of my top five internet faves for the hippest in blues and jazz and the only consistent source for cajun, zydeco and swamp rock – is raffling off this icon of scooterdom, complete with autographs, to one lucky ticket buyer come May 9, 2009

Donated by The Transportation Revolution, New Orleans franchise dealer for Ducati, Triumph, Piaggio and Vespa, this kind of promotional tie-in is perfect for dealerships in need of a marketing shot in the arm. Go here to see how the station’s doing their part in making sure this Vespa is seen around town.

Signers (so far) include Terence Blanchard, Randy Newman, Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball and Dr. John, along with assorted Nevilles and a bevy of other notables.