The scooter segment of the motorcycle market is forecast to continue to thrive domestically this year, following last year's strong growth as demand for the motorbike remains high, industry insiders said.

Vice president and sales and market manager of Piaggio, Mario Di Maria, said that the positive economic growth predicted this year would foster growing scooter sales.

Despite the impact of the global economic slowdown, last year remained a successful period for motorbike manufacturers in Vietnam as demand was much higher than expected.

According to the Vietnam Register, 2.75 million motorbikes were sold last year, an 8 percent increase over the previous year. Notably, the growth of the scooter segment last year reached up to roughly 40 percent.

General Director of Piaggio Vietnam , Costantino Sambuy, said that the manufacturer has so far sold 28,000 scooters in Vietnam since it inaugurated its plant in the northern province of Vinh Phuc last year. It has helped the manufacturer lift its turnover from 4.1 million USD in early last year to 18.4 million USD in early this year.

Honda Vietnam last year also sold out up to 1.43 million units, an 18 percent increase over the previous year.

Honda launched its popular Air Blade and Lead scooters, which dealers have added an additional 8-10 million VND mark-up on the recommended retail price due to excessive demand.

Other manufacturers including Yamaha and SYM have also seen high profits in the scooter segment.

Made-in-Vietnam scooter-manufacturers haven't been the only beneficiaries. The country last year also saw an increasing demand for imported scooters including the Honda Air Blade, SCR and SH. It was estimated that nearly 500,000 motorcycles were imported last year, most of which were scooters.

After the success of last year, this year promises to be equally good, with manufacturers releasing a new range of bikes suitable for male drivers.

Piaggio Vietnam recently launched its Vespa S, an exclusive product line for men.

Honda has so far also revealed plans to introduce its Honda PCX 125, which was launched at the Tokyo Motorshow 2009 and Honda CV Matic onto the Vietnamese market this year./.