European bike sales jump again in April

Sales of motorbikes in Europe continue upward recovery trend in April after unexpectedly strong Q1 results

Honda CB500X (2019)

SALES OF MOTORBIKES across Europe continue to reverse recent trends with a strong April following up a big rise during the first quarter of 2019, while the UK posted more positive results despite fears over Brexit.

With sales slipping up to the end of 2018, few saw the situation improving coming into 2019, but Q1 sales across Europe grew by around 20 per cent with impressive gains being registered in France (+31%), Germany (+22%) and Italy especially (17%).

BMW R 1250 RT VS the streets of London - Bike Review

According to Motorcycle Data, Q1 sales figures of 362,387 units represented a 19.3 per cent rise year on year, a buoyant bounce that has left the industry feeling a lot more confident heading into the remainder of the year. 

April continued that positive opening with sales up 16 per cent, led by France despite the recent upheaval caused by the nationwide gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests.

The revitalised fortunes have been regarded as an unexpected and pleasant surprise against the backdrop of political and economic uncertainty across the European bloc, not least the UK – which rose 10 per cent in Q1 - and the ongoing wrangling over Brexit.

In all, every nation in the European Community Zone apart from Greece (down 2%) posted gains between January and March, with Poland enjoying a huge surge of an 87 per cent increase. The Central European nation, together with Romania, Hungary. Lithuania and Slovakia, each managed more than 50 per cent gains. 

The impact is being felt at the highest level, with KTM bosses revealed their ‘shock’ at reflecting the results by posting a 22 per cent rise in sales during the first Q1.

It wasn’t all good news for the industry though as, despite European success, it wasn’t enough to improve global sales trends which otherwise slipped by 5 per cent, let down by drops in the two biggest markets of India and China.