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Sergey Litovchenko: Peugeot mulling Russian scooter teamSergey Litovchenko, General Director of Moto Grata, the exclusive distributor of Peugeot scooters in Russia, has kindly agreed to answer some questions from Motonews.ru on the opening of the local Peugeot dealershipâ€¦
Peugeot scooters have you sold in Russia?
We have sold a total of 600 scooters since we came on the market in 2010, 350 of them this year alone.
How would you describe the average buyer of Peugeot scooters?
We believe that a Peugeot scooter is likely to be purchased by a man over 20 years old, with an average or above-average income. Our potential buyers are people who really care for European quality and design. Many of them already own motorcycles or maxi scooters, and we are confident that Peugeot has the best price-quality ratio as far as scooters of 50cc and over are concerned.
How many Peugeot Scooters dealerships are there in Russia?
There are a total of 16, with the bulk of them in Moscow, but we have been steadily expanding out to the regions. We have already opened dealerships in St. Petersburg, Samara, Pyatigorsk, Krasnodar, Kemerovo, Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg, and are planning to open another one in Sochi.
Speaking of which, I would like to stress now that we are always open to new opportunities for cooperation and would be happy to establish more dealerships for this French brand in Russia!
What measures do you take to encourage sales? Do you make special offers?
Well, as I have already mentioned, the best way to encourage buyers is to provide them with great value for their money â€“ and we are very good at doing that. Do we make offers? Naturally, we do. We give out gifts and prizes. Even as we speak right now, we are holding a raffle for a trip to Paris for our customers who purchased scooters in August. And we will definitely offer discounts...
Do you think Peugeot is likely to take part in races in Russia?
We have already been offered the chance to sponsor youth cross-country teams. Russia also hosts annual races for tuned 50cc scooters. We are now looking into building a team of our own riding Peugeot scooters.
What models of the Peugeot brand have been the most successful on the Russian market?
Both 500cc and 400cc GEOPOLIS models equipped with ABS have been the most popular ones this year. They are ideal for city driving â€“ very agile, powerful and on top of that, inexpensive.
Do you yourself drive a motorcycle or a scooter?
Yes, Iâ€™ve been riding a Harley Davidson Fat Boy since 1998. Last year, I tried out a scooter for the first time. I have ridden every scooter we have â€“ I have to know how they run, after all. I like maxi scooters, because they are light and easy to drive. Anything with more than 300cc is powerful enough â€“ they take off easily when the traffic light turns green and accelerate fast enough on the move, and naturally they are better than bikes for traffic jams. If you drive just around the city, I think GEOPOLIS is an ideal model for you. It even comes with ABS. If you have to go at 140-160 kilometers per hour for a long time though, you had better choose SATELIS â€“ it even offers more trunk room and you can move your feet around. Also, I absolutely must mention that the brake system is designed specifically for Peugeot scooters. It is called the Power Braking System. If you press harder on the right brake handle when braking, you will be surprised to see how short and safe the brake way of a two-wheeler can be.
What do you expect motorbikes to be like in ten yearsâ€™ time?
I think we will most likely see hybrid models that now seem completely futuristic in design. I think producers and designers will be moving toward greater safety and comfort, as well as increased satisfaction from driving a motorbike or a moped.
Just as a reminder for those not familiar with the company, Peugeotâ€™s history of producing motorcycles started in 1898, when the first Peugeot bicycle, car and motorcycle were manufactured at Peugeotâ€™s historical home, the plant in Beaulieu. In 1904, Peugeot set its first world speed record, and then continued to expand its impressive track record by winning the most prestigious races. Among other prizes, the company won the national Grand Prix in 1924, set nine speed records in 1934, and triumphed at the Golden Cup in 1952, which elevated Peugeot to the status of a legendary brand.
After WWII, the motorcycle was gradually replaced by the moped, which debuted in the 1960s and became a dazzling success. Peugeot sold a record 550,000 vehicles of the renowned 100 series in 1973 alone. In the 1980s, the scooter arrived, and Peugeot was the first to launch a new generation scooter with a plastic body into production in 1982 â€“ a revolutionary decision that put market development on a fast track. The scooter became the mode of transport for the city.
In the 1990s, the SV model turned out to be a great success. At the same time, Peugeot became the first producer to sell electric scooters: the Scootâ€™Elec appeared in 1996 as a technological and technical breakthrough. An innovative company, Peugeot, relying on its experience in car making, introduced the first new ABS brake system for its 125cc scooters in the 2000s.
In 2004, the company launched Ludix 50 at a price below the mythical 999 euros. The French-assembled scooter immediately became a success, not to mention the best-selling scooter in Europe.
A year after that, Peugeot became the worldâ€™s first producer to use the groundbreaking design of a 125cc engine with a compressor. Such engines are featured in Peugeot Satelis models.
Today, Peugeot is Europeâ€™s fourth largest and Franceâ€™s leading scooter producer with over 20 models in its catalogue.
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