Italy's Motorride to launch pan-European portal

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ROME--Motorride has unveiled plans for a pan-European Internet portal to feed the growing demand for motor scooters and related products.

The portal, which will start operations on Oct. 15 under the name, will sell scooters and accessories online. Plans are to eventually sell financing products and insurance as well, and to expand the area covered to the U.S. and Japan, probably by next year. When it starts operation, service will be offered in Europe's five largest markets: Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the U.K.

Motorride is the product of more than a year of planning by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, Deutsche Bank, the Boston Consulting Group and Piaggio, the maker of the famous Vespa motor bike.

Milan communications company Opinion Leader, which says the first round of advertising will take place online as well as on television and radio, is handling advertising efforts for the project. Ad buys will start in October.

The company did not release its advertising budget.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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