"Open letter to all U.S. mayors concerned with America's oil consumption
To attain the ambitious goal of breaking America's "addiction to oil," the President has recently focused on the need to invest in alternative fuel technologies. However, there is also a behavioral approach that could greatly reduce this nation's energy consumption, while helping to preserve our environment and reduce traffic congestion.
The use of motor scooters - a daily behavior of millions of people across Europe and Asia - is only marginally embraced in the United States. Everyday in this country, millions of individuals drive their cars in locations and situations where motor scooters would be perfectly appropriate and convenient. Instead, if they were to utilize one of the latest eco-friendly motor scooters available in the market today - those compliant with the most stringent European and American regulations on gas emissions - they would, on average, reduce their fuel consumption by 58%, their emissions of carbon monoxide by 90%, and their emissions of carbon dioxide by 80%.
With the launch of the first Vespa in 1946, our company started a movement that has substantively improved transportation in countries around the world. Consistent with the President's energy utilization goals, we believe the time has come to expand the range of transportation solutions also in the United States.
We encourage you to broaden the dialogue about energy self-sufficiency to include both technological solutions and behavioral ones, fostering acceptance of alternative transportation, such as scootering. With your support - as well as that of other federal, state and local government leaders - scootering would bring immediate and substantial economic and environmental benefits to Americans and the communities in which they live.
We remain at your disposal should you wish to discuss this opportunity further.
President and CEO
Piaggio Group Americas"
The idea that scooters are a fun, easy-caring way to move through life is a valid one, but us American's have sometimes simple triggers in our brains, thus at the Indy Dealer show, guys were lining up to get signed posters from girls in tight fitting clothes who were essentially nobodies with pretty faces and slim figures. Thus, saying "scooters will save you money on the gas that you were cursing last year" will hit home.
When Piaggio first came back to the US, I was expecting some TV advertisements. I had the perfect one visulized in my brain:
A gas station attendant leans against a gas pump while a nondescript soccermom or regular joe guy pumps gas into his/her SUV. The pump make that old style click sound which indicated how much gas he is getting. A smartly and appropriately dressed scooterist pulls in to the pump near the SUV and jumps off, uses ATM card, and fills his/her tank. Meanwhile SUV person is still pumping away. The scooterists gets back on the scooter and waves to the attendant and says, "see you next week!" leaving the attendant and the SUV as they were when the commercial started.
The overwhelming message of my commercial idea is stated simply: save time and money and be the envy of the road. I think those ads would make some serious inroads in getting America to wake up to the realities of our gas addiction. They could also back it up with abother commercial containing real testimonials from riders who see the benefits of scootering. Small print ads showing people having fun only go so far. The scootering industry needs to pound the message into the american mind (with a potpourri scented velvet hammer of course!) if they exepect to make soem serious inroads into the transportation market. They are trying, and Piaggio's current step (which includes a similar letter sent to George Dubbya) will benefit the whole industry.
On a a side note, I did spend the whole president's day weekend (and then some) at the Indy Dealer show, but I'll blog that throughout the upcoming week. Stay tuned!