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The Wal-Mart Gas Powered Motor Scooter:

Someday soon we as Americans will be able to go to our local Wal-Mart store and be able to walk out with a brand new gas powered motor scooter. In fact we wouldn’t be surprised if this occurred by the end of 2008 (six months away at the writing of this article). We can already go to a store like Pep Boys and do that. We're not talking about the big 250cc Touring models, but just the little 49 and 50cc four bangers (because most states require a store to have a motor vehicle dealers license to sell a scooter with an engine bigger than 50cc, and we don’t see Wal-Mart willing to go through the hassle of getting a dealers license). But Wal-Mart could start carrying 50cc and smaller gas powered motor scooters today if they wanted to.

So why haven’t they? Well, the gas powered motor scooter market in the United States hasn’t been big enough for them. In 2007 an estimated 120,000 units were sold in the U.S. so even if Wal-Mart were able to win a big chunk of that market, assuming each Wal-Mart store kept as few as just two or three scooters on hand, each scooter would sit on the sales floor for about 4 months. That’s not fast enough for Wal-Mart. The whole business model of Wal-Mart is to move the product on the shelves and sales floor as fast as possible, and an object as big as a motor scooter that sits there on average for 4 months is taking up valuable space. So Wal-Mart had no reason to enter the gas powered scooter market.

But given the huge spike in scooter sales in 2008, we're sure as we post this article that Wal-Mart has people studying how fast they could move scooters through their infrastructure. Now, if Wal-Mart stays true to form, we can easily predict where the source of those scooters will be… China! It’s where they get 80% or more of the stuff they sell now. But the intent of this article isn’t to predict something that is fairly obvious. Anyone with common sense would know Wal-Mart’s looking at the current US scooter market and seeing if they can fill the demand with product from China. The intent of this article is to point out something else… the hypocrisy of your local scooter dealer!

The Hypocrisy of Your Local Scooter Dealer:

We hear all the time about how someone told a local scooter dealer that they are considering buying a China brand scooter online, and how the dealer told them just how bad Chinese scooters are. If you are in the market for a motor scooter, We actually encourage you to tell the dealer that you’re thinking about a China brand, contingent on this… after he responds with negativity about Chinese scooters, ask him when was the last time he bought something at Wal-Mart. In fact, ask him if he ever bought a lawn mower from Wal-Mart, or a snow blower, or even yet, how about a bicycle. Odds are pretty good that the dealer who is bad mouthing Chinese scooters doesn’t think twice about buying something at Wal-Mart, even a motorized item, or something he or his kids ride, and those products are in fact manufactured in China.

But that’s not all! As he’s bad mouthing China brand scooters, he’s probably standing right next to a Vespa or Piaggio scooter that he’s hoping to convince you to buy. But he has a dirty little secret that he doesn’t want you to know. To the right is a YouTube video created by Martin Racing Performance, which is a distributor of parts and accessories of goods that are likely on the shelves and walls of the scooter dealer bad mouthing the China brands. Listen carefully to the video to find out just where the scooter the dealer wants to sell you is made…. THAT’S RIGHT! China!!! The only difference between the scooter the dealer wants to sell and the China brand name he’s bad mouthing is the name and emblem on the scooter.

The History of Bad Mouthing the New "Foreign" Brand:

But what the scooter dealer is doing isn’t anything new. It’s happened many times before in America. When names like Honda and Toyota, and Datsun (now Nissan) hit the American automobile market, the American made brand dealers bad mouthed the quality of the new foreign brands as well. But as time went on, people took a chance on the foreign brands to save a few bucks, and they found that quality wasn’t nearly as bad as what the American brand dealers were saying. In fact, as third party companies like Consumer Reports began comparing them side by side, they began concluding that the foreign brands were actually better quality. The foreign brands loved this, but then turned around and did the exact same thing. When Korean manufactures began selling in the US (like Kia and Hyundai), the foreign brands that were now known for quality in the US had dealers that were bad mouthing the Korean brands. But now a decade later we see as people have taken chances on the Korean brands to save a little money they report that the value of their purchase is really good. Do a Google search for “Honda Odyssey and Kia” to see that a lot of people are claiming that you can get the same thing in a Honda Odyssey by buying a Kia for thousands less.

So if you're considering a China brand scooter, the product you are considering is no different than other types of products people buy at Wal-Mart everyday, like lawn mowers, and snow blowers, kids wagons and bicycles. And if Wal-Mart does start carrying scooters, the China brand you are considering is likely the brand, or very samilar to the brand, that Wal-Mart will decide to carry.

And when that local scooter dealer begins trashing the China brand when you tell him you’re considering purchasing one, respond by patting him on the back and telling him “Everything is going to be all right”, and then ask him if he’d like some bread with his "whine". When he looks at you confused, ask him if he as an email address where you can send him the link for the MRP YouTube video that let the cat out of the bag that his scooters are now being built in China.

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