European Motorcycle Market Declines

Europe Motorcycle Sales

The crisis is not over yet for the European motorcycle sector. The persistence of a double-digit contraction is highlighted by comparing similar timeframes in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Over these three years during the January-September periods the overall motorcycle market has shrunk by more than one third in (1,730,821 units vs. 1,281,296).

During the first three quarters of 2010, sales of new powered two-wheelers in the countries monitored by ACEM (The Motorcycle Industry in Europe), were down 14% over the same period of 2009, with just 1,281,296 registered units.

The expected rebound from the continuously negative trend that started in the last quarter of 2008 did not materialise. On the contrary, in the course of the summer the decline was even more accentuated.

These figures confirm the alarm bells repeatedly sounded by ACEM since 2008 at the beginning of the economic crisis.

In this scenario, Italy’s bad performance, loosing 26,3% in the third quarter compared to 2009, dragged the rest of the EU down due to its role as principal market.

With the end of the incentives used by the Italian Governent to help out a sector crucial to its economy, the local market was left with a crippled demand.

However, the Italian Ministry of Industry recently announced its intention of renewing the subsidies for efficient motorcycles, thus allowing for an optimistic outlook for the rest of the year.

Other main EU markets continuing this downward trend are Germany, the UK, France, Denmark, Greece, Poland, Norway and Sweden where new motorcycle registrations EU slipped into considerable percentage drops during the peak season when historically the sector is able to harvest the biggest volumes of the year.

The market share of powered two wheelers under 50cc is also experiencing a steady decline.

While in 2009 it had lost an already considerable 26%, the first nine months of 2010 recorded a -15% contraction compared to the same period in 2009.

Motorcycles (above 50cc) do not fare much better with a -13% for the same period.