“Have you ever been to Brazil?” is a common question amongst pale twenty-somethings that have been to the Brazillian Carnaval or New Year’s and come back with a few venereal diseases under their belt (so to speak). Brazil has much more to offer than hedonistic festivals and pristine beaches though.
It’s also home to nearly 200 million people, many of whom ride two wheelers everyday as the ideal form of personal transport. Italian brand, Benelli, has recently announced the opening of 12,500 square meters of additional factory space to the existing 100,000 square meters of space at the Bramont Motorcycle facility in Manaus.
The additional manufacturing capacity will be utilized to facilitate the production of all models of Benelli and Keeway two-wheeled products for the South American market.
It makes sense that Benelli sees potential for the growth of its business in not only Brazil, but also the South American market in general. Like the other members of the BRIC-block, the continent offers tremendous marketing opportunity for traditionally Western companies to sell their premium and economy products to increasingly affluent populations.
The factory plans to sell 2,000 Benelli motorcycles a year, and the first store was recently opened in aforementioned São Paulo, a city known for its wealth and prosperity (can’t wait for the first rolezinho to happen at the Benelli store).
I’ve spent a good deal of time in São Paulo, a sprawling LA-like metropolis where motorcycles are an ideal solution to the daily gridlock. Brazillian motorcyclists navigate the mind-numbing traffic displaying levels of skill and agility I have not seen anywhere else in my travels besides Mumbai (you’ve seen this guy’s video right?).
In the summer of 2012, I traveled up and down the coast of Brazil for 45-days and it was an amazing experience. The natural beauty (and human beauty), and the diversity of geography and culture means you could spend a lifetime exploring everything the country has to offer.
I’ll be looking forward to piloting a Benelli Tre K Amazonas along a beach-trail in Northern Brazil in the near future; ideally while everyone else is busy partying during the 2014 World Cup.