Since 2008, 25% of the European motorcycle market has been wiped out by the economic crisis. Over the first six months of 2011, a total of 879.773 new Powered Two-Wheelers (PTWs) were registered, or 6,27% less than in the first half of last year.
The main cause of the prolonged contraction lies in the negative performance of the main southern markets (Italy, Greece, Spain). Their impact to the aggregated EU market prevents countries showing quiet signs of recovery (Germany, France, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland) to compensate the losses.
In the first half-year, the situation across the European markets varied. While Belgium (+9.10%) and Switzerland (+7.43%) performed better than in the same period a year ago, Greece (-26.42%), Italy (-16.29%) and Spain (-16.61%) saw the number of new PTW registrations decrease strongly. Registrations in Germany (+1.73%), France (+2.43%) and the UK (-2.00%) were almost level compared to last year.
As regards the single segments, motorcycles have experienced the major contraction (–7.69%, -48509 units), while mopeds decreased by -3.35% (-10295 units) with Spain (-31.58%) leading the most affected countries.
On a positive note, electric PTWs are claiming a new segment. By steadily doubling registrations every year, today more electric motorcycles and scooters are sold in Europe than pure electric cars. So far 11.000 units were reported for the first 6 months 2011 compared to last year’s 5567, accounting for 0,3% of the EU market.
Jacques Compagne, ACEM Secretary General: “Despite the relentlessness of the crisis PTW manufacturers are focussing their innovative capacity on developing further the safety, fuel-efficiency and environmental performance of their vehicles.
A lot is being said about electric vehicles. Our data show that electric powered two-wheelers are amongst the first vehicles to profit from this technology on a large scale due to their very nature and pattern of use. Despite these first promising indications, incentives and a dedicated recharging infrastructure are required to achieve a critical mass. Only a serious commitment from authorities will enable the take-up of these advanced products.”