Meanwhile in the Old Country, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) has released its third-quarter numbers. In Europe, they keep track of the bike population by counting new registrations, and for the first nine months of this year, new motorcycle sales were down 5.1%. If you include mopeds, new registrations are down just 1.6%.
New motorcycle registrations totaled 771,327 units during the first nine months of the year. Italy’s 177,336 units represent a 6.4% uptick for Europe’s largest motorcycle market. France registrations were 132,950 motorcycles, up 2.4%. Sales in Germany tanked: 126,592 motorcycles registered is -11.7% fewer than this time last year. Spain’s 105,184 motorcycles is an 8.5% downturn, and the UK’s 80,222 new motorcycles is a 15.4% decline. Oh dear.
Of those, a total of 3,121 electric motorcycles were registered between January and September 2017 – a 13.4% decline. The largest European markets for electric motorcycles were: France (892, +4%), Spain (808, +51.9%) Germany (405, -32.3%), and Austria (691, -60.5%).
Mixing mopeds in makes the picture less gloomy; their 9.3% increase through Q3 to 280,279 units lets ACEM lead with combined sales of motorcycles and mopeds being down just 1.6%. Later, it divulges the uptick is partially due to the Slovenian government mandating all owners of unregistered mopeds register them.
France upholds its most-Green lead, same as with electrics, when it comes to mopeds (73,646 units, +7.2%); Netherlands (58,672 units, +5.9%), Germany (22,742 units, -9.2%), Poland (20,550 units, -4.1%), and Italy (19,823 units, -0.3%).
Motorcyclewise, ACEM didn’t speculate what led to the double-digit downturns, and we have no theories of our own regarding Germany and Spain. Fears of BREXIT in the UK, however, have led to inflation and cautious spending in that country. Maybe it’s affecting all of Europe. Except Italy. Viva Italia!
Still, it’s no time to panic, says Secretary General of ACEM Antonio Perlot:
“Vehicle registrations in Europe have slightly declined during the first 9 months of 2017 in comparison to the same period of 2016. From a longer time horizon, however, the moped and motorcycle fleet – that is the total number of vehicles circulating on the streets – increased from about 30.3 million units (2006) to 35.3 million units (2015).
“The reasons for this steady growth are well known. Motorcycles and mopeds are ideal for commuting, particularly in cities with high road traffic, and are easier to park, which of course saves considerable time to people. Also, they consume less fuel and are more affordable than other means of transport. These intrinsic advantages will still be there several years ahead, and therefore we expect the number of powered-two wheelers in Europe to continue increasing.
“Furthermore, our latest registration figures show an increase in the number of motorcycles used for leisure purposes in several European markets. These vehicles are mainly bought for the pleasure of riding itself, although they also offer a ‘cross over’ function and are also often used for commuting.