It was way back in 1949 when its manufacturer, Motobecane, introduced the first mobylette into the market. Motobecane, which name was derived from two colloquial words, namely, “moto” and “becane”, was a company based in France. The company’s primary business was the production of motorcycles, bicycles, and mopeds. The name of the company was in a way self-explanatory as “moto” is a colloquial word that stands for motorcycle while “becane” is a slang word for bike.
Since the first production of mobylettes in 1949, these mopeds had extensively gained popularity among bicycle and moped enthusiasts. In 1970, the popularity of these vehicles even soared into greater heights, causing its manufacturer to produce at least 750, 000 units of these vehicles every year. According to records, Motobecane had produced and sold around 14 million pieces of these mopeds to the public.
While the company’s scooters, bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles were widely embraced by the public, Motobecane still met its demise sometime in the year 1981. It stopped its production of the famous mobylettes and filed for bankruptcy. Later, it was sold to Yamaha Motor Company Ltd., another manufacturer of mopeds and motorcycles. Until now, Yamaha is one of the key players of the moped and the motorcycle industry.
Yamaha reformed and reorganized Motobecane’s company systems in 1984 and named it MBK. Under its head, Pedro Alvarez, MBK picked up what Motobecane had left behind. The company revived the production of the mobylette vehicles and lifted them again into popularity.
Of the millions of mobylette bikes sold since their first launch in 1949, the la bleue model was one of the most in demand. This model got its name from the color of its initial versions, which were sold only in blue color.
When France experienced radical changes in economic and cultural aspects, the sales of the mobylettes plummeted down dramatically. The engines of these vehicles failed the vehicle emissions standards written under the new anti pollution legislation of EU. Likewise, most people, particularly teenagers, had already changed their preferences. Instead of the mopeds, which had been the mode of transportation for many farmers, postal carriers, and even lovers for many years, flashy and colorful scooters have now become the trend. These changes brought the end to the popularity of the mobylette vehicles. In November 2002, production of these vehicles was stopped.
The scooter has now taken the place of the mobylette in terms of popularity. Nevertheless, the mobylettes remain in the minds of those who have come to love them. These vehicles had enjoyed popularity for 48 years and have made millions of people happy during their good old days.
The mobylette vehicle has been given recognition when it was revived through the movie “Amelie” starred by actor Nino Quincampoix. In the movie, lead actor Nino was shown riding a mobylette through the streets of Paris. Aside from the movie, the memory of the once famous vehicle of France has been revived when it was featured on sets of stamps that were released by France’s national post office sometime in March.