The (No) Competition
- Gepubliceerd: zaterdag 16 april 2016 08:31
- Geschreven door René
So, what was the competition like for Puch Maxi in the Netherlands?
This article is an interesting retrospect to look back at how Puch in the Netherlands stayed on top of the competition and remained the number 1 in sales for 28 years straight.
First, let's compare the early years. So, we go back to the late 60's when the Maxi N without rear suspension was introduced:
(left: Puch Maxi N, right: Vespa Ciao)
The only serious competition in the early years was the Vespa Ciao. Both were produced as cheap as possible, both had rigid frames at the rear (no suspension) and a high mounted headlamp with a build-in speedometer and steeringlock was the only luxury about it. Pricewise, the Puch was just a little more expensive, but that's because Puch had a chaindriven engine and front suspension, whereas Vespa had a tiny engineblock with beltdrive mounted between plastic chainguards in between the frame. The Maxi motor was freely accessible from all sides, at first only the Bing carburettor was half shielded by the plastic chainguards. Both gastanks were less than a gallon.
Where the Ciao was fairly maintenance free, the little engine was clealry underpowered, whereas the Maxi motor did the heavy work with ease. Mechanics and shopholders quickly learned the advantages of the Maxi, and the marketing did the rest. Through the years, until the end in the late 90's, when both machines ended their production, the Ciao maintained a stronghold in the south of the Netherlands, very locally. Puch clearly conquered the rest of the country, and thus the competition of the Ciao was minimum at best. The more luxury Vespa Si also had it's share of competition in the Netherlands, but never rose to the same number in sales of that of the Maxi.
We move on to the early 70's now: the Puch Maxi S did it's introduction and more variation on the Maxi had seen daylight. Peugeot tried to conquer the market with the cheaply produced Peugeot 102 and 103 models.
(left: 1973 Puch Maxi N, right: 1973 Peugeot 103)
Peugeot was very big in it's own country, France. In the Netherlands we had our own brands (with 1 million mopeds on the road, we were moped country #1 in the world) like Batavus and RAP (build by Puch). The 103 was also very cheaply produced and the little engine was decent. But the Maxi was already an established name and with the expansion of models and colors, the 103 was just too expensive and too much a loner on the competition field. It's sales never caught up. That was a job for it's successor, the Fox, nearly 20 years later. The 103 is still being produced (2016) for the market in France and for Africa, where it is a success. But for the Maxi it was no competition at all.
- Volgende >>