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Scooters and Mopeds - US - December 2012

“The scooter and moped market has benefited from the increase in gas prices since the start of the recession in 2008. This may not be enough to expand this market in the U.S. significantly, but has generated interest among consumers who had previously never considered them or just seen them as a recreational or lifestyle vehicle.”

- Bill Patterson, Senior Market Analyst


Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Can the U.S. market emulate those countries with ingrained scooter/moped culture?
  • Is marketing scooters/mopeds as lifestyle accessories a mistake? How the "new normal" of rising fuel prices creates a new potential consumer base
  • How does the "new normal" or rising fuel prices create a new potential consumer base.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Data sources
        • Consumer survey data
          • Abbreviations and terms
            • Abbreviations
              • Terms
              • Executive Summary

                  • Market factors
                    • Rise in fuel prices creating opportunity for scooter/moped makers
                        • Figure 1: U.S. regular conventional retail gasoline prices, third week in November, 2002-12
                      • Americans driving cars less, providing opportunity for scooters/mopeds
                        • Figure 2: Consumer vehicle miles traveled, all U.S. roads and streets, 1998-2011
                      • Electric scooters will help drive future scooter/moped sales
                        • The consumer
                          • Most people do not own scooters/mopeds; scooter penetration higher
                            • Figure 3: Scooter and moped ownership, new or used, by gender, September 2012
                          • Majority of scooter/moped owners prefer riding weekly
                            • Figure 4: Frequency of riding scooter/moped, by gender, September 2012
                          • Male scooter/moped owners more likely than women to buy for long travel
                            • Figure 5: Reasons for purchasing a scooter/moped, by gender, September 2012
                          • Owners purchase, and then use, scooters/mopeds for fun, errands
                            • Figure 6: Reasons for purchasing a scooter/moped and what the scooter/moped is used for now, September 2012
                          • Performance, price, fuel economy top factors influencing purchase
                            • Figure 7: Factors influencing scooter/moped purchasing, by gender, September 2012
                          • When scooter/moped owners evangelize about vehicles, they praise gas savings
                            • Figure 8: How consumers would recommend scooters/mopeds to friends, by gender, September 2012
                          • What we think
                          • Issues in the Market

                              • How the “new normal” of rising fuel prices creates a new potential consumer base
                                • Can the U.S. market emulate those countries with ingrained scooter/moped culture?
                                  • Is marketing scooters/mopeds as lifestyle accessories a mistake?
                                  • Insights and Opportunities

                                    • Personalization through accessorizing/limited-edition co-branding
                                      • Sponsor group tours or partner with touring operators to provide fleets
                                        • Scooter fleets for public, private security
                                          • Design-enhanced brand of scooters to appeal to luxury market
                                          • Trend applications

                                              • Inspire trend: Brand Review
                                                • Inspire trend: Play Ethic
                                                  • Inspire 2015 Trends
                                                    • East Meets West
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                      • Escalating fuel prices forcing consumers to consider alternative transit
                                                          • Figure 9: U.S. regular conventional retail gasoline prices, third week in November, 2002-12
                                                        • Declines in vehicle use reflect consumer hesitation at gas pump
                                                            • Figure 10: Consumer vehicle miles traveled, all U.S. roads and streets, 1998-2011
                                                          • Electric scooters will help drive future market sales
                                                            • Consumer sentiment rising, but lower than pre-recession levels
                                                                • Figure 11: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment, November 1978-2012
                                                            • Leading Companies

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Brand ownership
                                                                  • Majority own a Honda scooter or moped
                                                                    • Figure 12: Brand of scooter/moped owned, by gender, September 2012
                                                                  • Honda, Yamaha ownership highest among 18-44 year olds
                                                                    • Figure 13: Brand of scooter/moped owned, by age, September 2012
                                                                  • Middle-income groups key to the market
                                                                    • Figure 14: Brand of scooter/moped owned, by household income, September 2012
                                                                  • Vespa, Genuine ownership skews in the Northeast
                                                                    • Figure 15: Brand of scooter/moped owned, by region, September 2012
                                                                  • Profiles of leading companies
                                                                    • Honda Powersports
                                                                        • Figure 16: Honda North America motorcycle unit sales, 2008-12
                                                                      • Yamaha Sport
                                                                        • Piaggio Group
                                                                          • Suzuki Cycles
                                                                            • Kymco USA
                                                                              • Genuine Scooter Co.
                                                                              • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                • Scoot Networks transitions car sharing concept to scooters
                                                                                  • Boutique scooter company endorses community through group rides
                                                                                    • Mercedes-Benz electric scooter designed with branded car features
                                                                                      • Piaggio introduces model with third wheel to emphasize safety
                                                                                      • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                        • Strategy: Membership club creates inclusiveness among brand owners
                                                                                          • Strategy: Aligning scooters with outreach efforts that promote community
                                                                                            • Strategy: Positioning the scooter as a conduit for fashion, fun, freedom
                                                                                                • Figure 17: Vespa LaVespaVita.com, November 2012
                                                                                              • Strategy: Emphasizing cost savings in exchange for thrills
                                                                                                • Figure 18: Suzuki “Buy and Ride” ad, April 2012
                                                                                              • Strategy: Capturing the feel of driving a scooter
                                                                                                • Figure 19: Vespa LX and S 3V video, June 2012
                                                                                              • Strategy: Comically showing how scooter ownership can change your life
                                                                                                • Figure 20: Honda “Color My World Part I” video, February 2010
                                                                                                • Figure 21: Honda “Color My World Part II” video, February 2010
                                                                                            • Scooter and Moped Ownership

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Ownership among the total population
                                                                                                  • Scooter ownership more than double that of moped ownership
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Scooter and moped ownership within the total population, new or used, by gender, September 2012
                                                                                                  • Scooter, moped ownership highest for 18-24 year olds
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Scooter and moped ownership within the total population, new or used, by age, September 2012
                                                                                                  • Scooter, moped ownership highest in $75K-99.9K households
                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Scooter and moped ownership within the total population, new or used, by household income, September 2012
                                                                                                  • Scooter, moped ownership highest among Asian respondents
                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Scooter and moped ownership within the total population, new or used, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2012
                                                                                                  • Demographics of scooter and moped owners
                                                                                                    • Scooter/moped owners split 70/30
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Scooter and moped ownership among scooter/moped owners, new or used, by gender, September 2012
                                                                                                    • Among owners, scooters and mopeds appeal to opposing ends of the age spectrum
                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Scooter and moped ownership among scooter/moped owners, new or used, by age, September 2012
                                                                                                    • New scooter ownership jumps among those with household income of $50K+
                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Scooter and moped ownership among scooter/moped owners, new or used, by household income, September 2012
                                                                                                    • Higher scooter ownership in the South
                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Scooter and moped ownership among scooter/moped owners, new or used, by region, September 2012
                                                                                                  • Scooter/Moped Riding Frequency

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Most frequent use of scooters/mopeds is weekly
                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Frequency of riding scooter/moped, by gender, September 2012
                                                                                                      • Daily ridership is highest among 18-24 year olds
                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Frequency of riding scooter/moped, by age, September 2012
                                                                                                      • Daily ridership highest within lower-earning households
                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Frequency of riding scooter/moped, by household income, September 2012
                                                                                                      • Millennial respondents more likely than older peers to ride daily or weekly
                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Frequency of riding scooter/moped, Millennials vs. non-Millennials, September 2012
                                                                                                    • Reasons for Purchasing Scooters/Mopeds

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Half of respondents buy scooters/mopeds to run errands, ride for fun
                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Reasons for purchasing a scooter/moped, by gender, September 2012
                                                                                                        • Purchasing for commuting highest among those younger than 45
                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Reasons for purchasing a scooter/moped, by age, September 2012
                                                                                                        • Those from highest-earning households most likely to buy for fun
                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Reasons for purchasing a scooter/moped, by household income, September 2012
                                                                                                        • Millennial respondents most likely to buy scooters, mopeds to commute
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Reasons for purchasing a scooter/moped, Millennials vs. non-Millennials, September 2012
                                                                                                        • Mopeds purchased more than scooters for work commutes
                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Reasons for purchasing a scooter/moped, by scooter or moped ownership, new or used, September 2012
                                                                                                      • Reasons for Purchasing a Scooter/Moped vs. What It is Used for Today

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Intended uses for scooters/mopeds fade to reality
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Reasons for purchasing a scooter/moped and what it is used for now, September 2012
                                                                                                        • Factors Influencing Scooter/Moped Purchasing

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Performance, price, fuel economy top three factors influencing purchasing
                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Factors influencing scooter/moped purchasing, by gender, September 2012
                                                                                                            • Fuel economy, maintenance costs factor most for those aged 18-24
                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Factors influencing scooter/moped purchase, by age, September 2012
                                                                                                            • Fuel economy, maintenance costs important to middle-income households
                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Factors influencing scooter/moped purchase, by household income, September 2012
                                                                                                            • Top preferred factors most important to Midwest respondents
                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Factors influencing scooter/moped purchase, by region, September 2012
                                                                                                          • Accessories/Extras Purchased for Scooters/Mopeds

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • More than half of scooter/moped owners purchased a helmet
                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Accessories and extras bought for scooter/moped, by gender, September 2012
                                                                                                              • More than half of respondents aged 18-24 purchased locks
                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Accessories and extras bought for scooter/moped, by age, September 2012
                                                                                                              • Respondents in households earning $50K-74.9K most likely purchasing helmets
                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Accessories and extras bought for scooter/moped, by household income, September 2012
                                                                                                              • Regional differences manifest in accessory purchases
                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Accessories and extras bought for scooter/moped, by region, September 2012
                                                                                                              • Millennials more engaged in accessories
                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Accessories and extras bought for scooter/moped, Millennials vs. non-Millennials, September 2012
                                                                                                              • Differences in accessory purchase by moped vs. scooter riders
                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Accessories and extras bought for scooter/moped, by scooter and moped ownership, new or used, September 2012
                                                                                                            • Research Conducted Before Buying a Scooter/Moped

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Male respondents prefer to research more than female respondents
                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Research conducted before buying a scooter/moped, by gender, September 2012
                                                                                                                • Dealership test drives used most by riders aged 18-34
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Research conducted before buying a scooter/moped, by age, September 2012
                                                                                                                • Professional sites preferred most by those from homes earning $100K+
                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Research conducted before buying a scooter/moped, by household income, September 2012
                                                                                                                • Midwest family values reflected in reliance on family/friends
                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Research conducted before buying scooter/moped, by region, September 2012
                                                                                                                • Moped owners skew younger and buyers’ research habits reflect this
                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Research conducted before buying scooter/moped, by scooter and moped ownership, new or used, September 2012
                                                                                                              • How Owners Would Recommend Scooters/Mopeds to Friends

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Half of owners would talk to their friends about gas savings
                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: How owners would recommend scooters/mopeds to friends, by gender, September 2012
                                                                                                                  • Few overall trends by age on what riders would recommend to their friends
                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: How owners would recommend scooters/mopeds to friends, by age, September 2012
                                                                                                                  • Those from least wealthy households most likely to talk about price
                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: How owners would recommend scooters/mopeds to friends, by household income, September 2012
                                                                                                                  • Midwestern, Southern respondents most likely to talk about cost of gas
                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: How owners would recommend scooters/mopeds to friends, by region, September 2012
                                                                                                                  • Millennial respondents most likely to talk about sticker price, cost of gas
                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: How owners would recommend scooters/mopeds to friends, Millennials vs. non-Millennials, September 2012
                                                                                                                  • Scooters championed more than mopeds for gas savings
                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: How owners would recommend scooters/mopeds to friends, by scooter and moped ownership, new or used, September 2012
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                  • Scooter/moped ridership frequency and new versus used
                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Frequency of riding scooter/moped, by scooter and moped ownership, new or used, September 2012
                                                                                                                  • Scooter/moped ridership frequency and region
                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Frequency of riding scooter/moped, by region, September 2012
                                                                                                                  • Factors influencing purchase and generation
                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Factors influencing scooter/moped purchase, by generation, September 2012
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                  • Genuine Parts Company
                                                                                                                  • Honda Motor Co., Ltd
                                                                                                                  • Piaggio SpA
                                                                                                                  • Suzuki Motor Corporation
                                                                                                                  • Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd

                                                                                                                  Scooters and Mopeds - US - December 2012

                                                                                                                  £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)