We caught up with Semmy Levit, Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer at Platum, to hear more about their plans for the Ducati e-mobility brand as well as some insights into changing attitudes towards electric vehicles in the Italian market.
Tell us about Platum™?
We are an R&D, engineering and distribution platform working to shape the future of urban e-mobility. We entered the urban e-mobility sector with our proprietary brand Argento e-Mobility almost 10 years ago. Since then, we’ve been producing e-bikes and e-scooters designed to leave a long-lasting impression and equipped with high-level components.
We are based in the Italian Motor Valley, a territory that is internationally renowned as the birthplace of some of the most desired automotive brands in the world. This puts us in the privileged position of breathing innovation, technology and Italian excellence, helping us to develop an avant-garde spirit that enabled us to become a reference point for other companies interested in expanding their offer. That’s how the e-mobility projects in partnership with Ducati, Lamborghini, Jeep, Aprilia, VR46, Alfa Romeo and Lancia were born.
We are led by a great heritage and moved by a new soul. We build on the solid core and know-how of MT Distribution, a company with forty-four years of history, and we are a new company projected towards the future. Platum, the Platform of Urban E-Mobility, is a name and a statement that reflects who we are and the future we aim to build.
Ducati is a world famous brand. Outside of a strong brand identity, are there any other key features or innovations that make your e-bikes and e-scooters stand out?
Ducati is the first brand with which we partnered-up in 2018 to develop a complete range of foldable e-bikes, e-scooters and accessories. For our first collaboration we chose a company headquartered only a few kilometers away from us, with which we share an innovative spirit and a distinctly Italian DNA.
In developing each product, we apply a tailored approach, working with the Ducati Style Center to design and engineer products that are unique and embody the brand’s core. As a result, the final products preserve the brand’s original design language and the most iconic elements in terms of colors and technical features.
What is your product roadmap for 2022?
We boast an exciting portfolio of brands and our 2022 range comprises 55 products between e-bikes and e-scooters, and a wide catalogue of accessories for urban mobility: we have a solution for anyone, no matter their needs!
With our brand Argento e-Mobility we offer a range of e-bikes and e-scooters that are born to stand out and convey the rider's bold character and attitude. We’re soon expanding the range with the launch of KPF, the first e-scooter in the “Argento by Pininfarina” line, a family of products that will include e-scooters and e-bikes and is developed in collaboration with Pininfarina, worldwide icon of Italian design in the automotive industry.
We have ongoing partnerships with some of the most important automotive brands, namely, Ducati, Lamborghini, Jeep, Aprilia, VR46, Alfa Romeo and Lancia. We’ve recently launched the Jeep Urban e-Mobility project, introducing two powerful off-road e-scooters developed to live the Jeep spirit in the city. The range will be expanded in the next few months to include two off-road and two e-mountain bikes. In the summer, we will also introduce two enduro e-bikes equipped with high-end components developed in partnership with VR46, Valentino Rossi’s official merchandise company. One of the two e-bikes will be released in a limited edition of 46 numbered pieces, assembled with wireless and carbon components.
What does your role as CCMO (Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer) for Platum encapsulate?
I’m building on the experience acquired in the IT and durable goods industries and my effort is aimed at helping the company and its clients to seize the opportunities offered by the new market opened by urban e-mobility and emerging lifestyles.
The urban e-mobility market is in its early stages and full of possibilities. My goal is to leverage partnerships in the consumer electronics channel to shape our business and be part of the future of the e-mobility industry.
What is the e-mobility scene in Italy right now? How does it compare to the rest of Europe?
We’ve been seeing the market booming in Italy in the past two years, due to different factors: increasing awareness around environmental costs of traditional means of transport, newly arising health concerns around the use of public transport in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and governmental purchasing incentives, both at the national and local level.
The market is growing and becoming more mature, with consumers increasingly aware and informed about relatively new products such as e-scooters. They research, compare and are more demanding in terms of performance. As for the e-bikes, we come from a country with a long and prestigious tradition in muscular bikes, primarily used for leisure. E-bikes have opened new possibilities and widened the customer base, making it possible to cover longer distances at a higher speed. We see more people using e-bikes for daily commutes.
New markets clearly come with changing legislation. While e-bikes are treated like regular bikes by Italian legislation, the norms for the use of e-scooters are in the making. For example, they’ve been recently updated, making turn signals mandatory for all products put on the market after 1 July 2022. It is a challenge for us producers but it responds to users’ concerns about safety on the road.
Which countries are you prioritising in the next 12 months?
2022 is the year in which we want to effectively expand our territorial scope beyond Italy, aiming at generating 70% of our turnover abroad. We are already present in many European countries, namely Spain, France, Benelux, Poland and Czech Republic, and overseas in the UAE and Australia, but we are eager to move beyond. Geographical expansion will continue to be our focus for 2022 and 2023.
We want to take our products to the world, aspiring to make our brands Argento e-Mobility a household name in as many countries as possible! As for the automotive brands included in our portfolio, our partnership projects are met with enthusiasm, as people are interested in seeing how we engage top level brands such as Ducati, Lamborghini and Jeep and translate the brands’ experience into products that bring value to customers’ daily life.
Are you focusing on retail or online channels? What sort of channel partners are you looking to meet at the ChannelSummit EMEA show?
We consider both channels important to develop the kind of business that we envision. Specifically, we’re looking at the consumer electronics and e-commerce channels. Since this is an evolving market, we look for partners that are willing and able to aptly display and communicate our products and their features, be it in store or online.
Do you have a structured channel programme? Please explain how you work with your channel partners
Delivering complete client satisfaction is a big driver of what we do at Platum. That is why we work in synergy with both the brands and our clients, supporting the latter’s marketing and communication activities to ensure a seamless brand experience. Between 2022 and 2023 we plan on working with our partners to set-up more than 10.000 linear meters to display our products in the most prestigious stores, in Europe and beyond.
We also organize training sessions and develop supporting materials as a way to give shop personnel a better understanding of our products. Knowing the technical features of our products enables them to better answer questions and doubts, conveying a more complete brand experience to our customers.
How do you see the e-mobility scene developing over the next 3-5 years? Any key trends to watch out for?
We expect to keep seeing an increase in the average price of products, as consumers become more aware and demanding in terms of technology and performances. This is a fast-growing market which continues evolving. Sales are projected to increase on all segments, and besides e-bikes and e-scooters we also expect e-moped to grow in popularity.
We know the products of tomorrow won’t be the same as today and we are going to see cities change their appearance and become ever more e-mobility oriented. Our goal is to seize the opportunities opened in front of us, being an active subject in shaping the industry, today for tomorrow. Urban e-mobility is the next big thing.
Platum is a confirmed exhibitor at Channel Summit EMEA 2022.
For more information about Platum click here
For more information about Ducati e-mobility solutions click here