This would be logical continuation of the industrial progress. Why keep manufacturing Aprilias in Italy by guys who make 20 bucks an hour if some others would work for a month for the same. We will be seeing more of this.
Don´t underestimate the Chinese, they are coming. They also bought Benelli. Although I am not a great motorcycle prophet I can see a Benelli Sei in my christal ball. I can see also growing Chinese market share in cars - but only after they realize brand names such as Geely and Chery are more suited to intimate lubricant products.
Aprilia has brand awareness and acceptance in the U.S. market that Jincheng would take years to get. So yes I can see Aprilia branded Jincheng bikes marketed here. I can also see Aprilia moving manufacturing facilities to China. If you are an Aprilia CEO or Chairman wouldn't like to tell you board that you can reduce labor costs by 300%. Or the chinese will buy Aprillia for the brand...The Chinese have lots of money and hold lots of Euros and Dollars. Because of the Trade Deficits with China, the Chinese currency will rise in relation to the Euro an dollar. Thus U.S. and European assets will become cheap for Chinese investors. Globalization is the future and it will cause all sorts of this stuff, Either it's a race to bottom for all labor or it's a raising all boats (standare of living) thing. Time will tell. I hope it's the latter.
Re: Chinese Aprilias Coming to an auto parts store near you?
"The Eupolo features an award-winning Italian-design and will accompany our recently EPA-certified line of 150cc, 75cc, and 50cc dirt bikes... the Jincheng brand is primed for an explosive presence in dealerships across the country."
Hmmm...looks like more bikes bound for Pep Boys. Will they employ the classic Honda 90 style motor design? Spare parts?
"beware the laughing dog who makes sport in the roadway"
"tootle the horn, at first melodiously, then with vigor"
I don't consider myself xenophobic but the quality on a lot of Chinese products is just not there. On one hand I have a bench vice and floor jack that are at least 30 years old, made in China and just as good today as they were new. I think in high end machine tools and casting they're pretty good. However they seem intent on flooding the market with dirt cheap pot metal tools that aren't worth the packaging they come in. I'm not interested in a Cinese made car or bike at this point.
I know other Asian countries such as Thailand and Indonesia manufacture their own motorcycles, albeit under license and with direct supervision of the Japanese factories. I even had a Japanese technician jet my (two-stroke) Ninja once; he was training the delership's staff. I was impressed by the close relationship. Just as Hondas and Kawis sell in Indonesia I'm sure Aprilias might sell in China, but it only makes sense to build them in China according to Aprilia spec.
That said, once they've done that they certainly could manufacture models for export. The article posted above indicates they are seeking EPA approval so they must be planning on exporting to the USA. It's unclear if they will be Aprilias or another, perhaps as-yet-unannounced brand.
It would make sense for them to manufacture for the Chinese market first-- which must be huge compared to the American scooter market anyway! If they can make good product that meets Aprilia's standards then they can manufacture them for export. But I don't know at all that that's their plan.
I would agree as well that Chinese quality, while greatly improved and still improving, is still not as high as I'd like it to be. I see it in my hand tools, nail clippers, and even the laptop I'm writing this on right now. But I also agree that they're coming. I really wonder what will happen. If their currency floats, that might end cheap Chinese goods for US and Euro customers; right now their currency is pegged artificially low against the dollar. On the other hand, if their currency strenthens, perhaps they will be so flush with buying power that they will just take over vulnerable companies, even huge ones.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: every Chinese product you buy contributes to the weapons that will be used against your grandkids. I like Aprilia, but I would never even consider buying one made in China.
I'm not completely in agreement with RonXX, but I do think that China is one of the most powerful entities on the planet, and has mostly always been. These guys got to the East Coast of Africa before Vasca De Gama, and may have explored the West Coast of the U.S. at about the same time. We're the stronger of the two for sure at present, but they have a lot of experience at profiting from all sorts of situations that we would consider untenable. In their long and complicated history, they have almost always ended up prevailing in the end. Anyone who thinks that we can 'take advantage' of them for very long is not giving them the respect that they deserve.
When Benelli was bought by Qaichang (or something close to that). The Chinese said that they were leaving all development and manufacturing in Italy. Sourcing only the parts from China. With luck Aprilia will do the same. Ultimately, Piaggio still owns the brand (from what I understand). Knowing this, does Piaggio have bigger plans. Sourcing parts for Vespa, Piaggio, Moto Guzzi and Aprilia seems to be the next step. I guess Ducati will be the only true Italian marquee that is imported to the USA. This will work if the co-op allows for a reduction in MSRP. Otherwise, Aprilia won't make it 4 more years in the US.