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Vespa Research Paper

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Vespa Research Paper

I. Executive summary

The purpose of this research is to determine if there is demand for a Vespa scooter dealership in the Bryan/College Station area. We believe that this college town could be a profitable target market and we set to identify what could make a Vespa dealership successful in our area. Using available secondary research and conducting interviews with scooter dealers, we were able to discover criteria to compare to the Bryan/College Station market.

In addition, we researched the overall Bryan/College Station area. This included secondary research to determine demographics, target markets, trends, and more about the Vespa image. We wanted a better understanding of who our consumer would be. Also, we conducted a survey distributed to Bryan/College Station residents. This provided us with local residents' current opinions about Vespa and allowed us to either confirm or reject whether there is a demand in the town.

Conducting research is a vital step in determining the success of opening a Vespa dealership. After analyzing and reviewing the data, we have determined that there is not demand for our dealership. We had not accounted for the students' lack of interest and little nostalgic appreciation of the Vespa name. Our survey revealed this information as well as other negative associations with scooters. To create a profitable marketing opportunity, it would be necessary to organize a massive marketing campaign to promote the image and create demand.

II. Introduction

The Vespa, an Italian made scooter, was designed by Enrico Piaggio in 1946. The vehicle was originally created with a focus on economic efficiency as well as elegance and comfort. It was very different from the scooters of the time; its sleek, sophisticated style resembled a wasp, which sparked the name Vespa, wasp in Italian. Vespa has lived on from one generation to the next, subtly modifying its image each time. "The first Vespa offered mobility to everyone. Then, it became the two-wheeler of the post war economic boom. During the sixties and seventies, the vehicle became a symbol for the revolutionary ideas of the time." (

This European icon and mode of transportation debuted in the U.S. market in the 1950's and was forced to leave the market in the 80's due to the stringent demands of the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2000, the Vespa scooter re-entered the U.S. market with endless possibilities. The popularity of Vespa in the US was a symbol of a changing society that value freedom, fashion, and a unique flare.

After Vespa's 15 year absence, the company believed their main market would be young adults looking for cheap transportation when in reality their main consumers were aging baby boomers who looked for nostalgic memories of their youth. Vespa has grown tremendously in the U.S. market beginning in Western States such as California and is rapidly expanding across the nation. Currently in Texas, there are four dealerships located in the major hubs of Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.

Our purpose for the research was to determine if there was a market opportunity for opening a Vespa dealership in the Bryan/College Station area. We thought it was a viable idea worth exploring to decide the potential of the market. We determined to distribute surveys in addition to gathering secondary research to either confirm or reject our hypothesis.

The Bryan/College Station area is expanding rapidly and primarily revolves around the Texas A&M campus. The market consists of a majority of college students with short distance travel needs. These students also have concerns with the lack of parking on campus. A scooter would allow them to drive themselves to class and avoid buses in addition to parking in motorcycle permit slots closer to buildings.

College students are often stereotyped as strapped for cash, which is often true. They are on budgets and would possibly be interested in a gas saving mode of transportation. With prices rising, more people are forced to search for alternatives. The Vespa was a fuel efficient solution. As we examined the market, it seemed that the area was ideal for a Vespa dealership.

We agreed to further explore the possibilities of the dealership. We collected relative secondary data and designed a survey to discover opinions and beliefs.

The purpose of this research was to explore the following questions:

* Should we open a Vespa dealership?

* Does the Bryan/College Station market match the Vespa target market?

* Is there an interest in our product?

III. Research

We have chosen to answer our research questions using secondary data, surveys, and phone interviews. They were a strategic and practical source in drawing conclusions. Using this information we were able to determine that opening a Vespa dealership was not a profitable opportunity for us.

A. Secondary Data

We utilized secondary research as a cost effective solution to researching the market. We gathered information that we felt would be useful in answering our research questions on a variety of topics including demographics, transportation trends, Vespa's reentrance to the market, Vespa's target market, Vespa's image, and how to open a Vespa dealership.


The City of College Station as its name suggests is a college town. It is mostly dominated by over 44,500 students attending Texas A&M, the nation's fifth largest institution and more than 14,000 at Blinn Community College. Because of this, it is of no surprise that according to statistics from 2004, 47% of the population is aged between 18 and 24. While the population is very young, some may jump with haste to the conclusion that this is a liberal and trendy area. With street names such as George Bush Drive, this is hardly the case. According to the Princeton Review, Texas A&M is the top 15 most conservative University in the nation. With few public transportation options available, College Station has a high car ownership. The following summarizes this:

In addition, it is also found that 76.8% of the total population drives alone to work or class.



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