European PTW market 'in crisis'

A slump in sales in Italy drag down the rest of Europe's already bad figures

THE Powered Two Wheeler (PTW) market in Europe is 'in crisis' according to the Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM), the organisation that represents over 30 different motorcycle brands across Europe, as sales of PTWs are down by 3.2%.

The crisis is not over yet for the European motorcycle sector. The latest figures for the spring sales and registrations confirm the enduring negative trend. Motorcycle sales fluctuate during the course of the year, but with the beginning of the warmer and dryer season, dealers expect a surge in demand. This year they were disappointed once more. After a negative 2009 and 2010, did not yield the hoped positive results.

During the first five months of 2011, sales of new powered two-wheelers in the countries monitored by ACEM, were down 3.2% over the same period of 2010, with just 633,362 registered units.

The expected rebound from the a long period of negative news that began at the end of 2008 did not materialise. Even the onset of the good season, which marks a surge in interest for PTW and usually generates a spike in sales, is not contributing to relieve the damages provoked by the economic crisis.

Since 2008 ACEM is calling for policymakers to devote more attention to this situation which is causing dramatic consequences to the labour market. For instance, Spainlost 25% of jobs in PTW manufacturing out of a workforce of 50,000 in 2007.

Despite this negative average trend some countries distinguish themselves for their good performance. Belgium reports an exceptional 18.7% increase in registrations, while France and Germany grow respectively by 8.2% and 7.7%.

Unfortunately all other EU markets are confirming a constant decline: Spain -10.4%, UK -1.7%, The Netherlands -1.3%.

Italy’s disappointing performance; losing 15.4% on the same period last year, is holding back the rest of the EU market. Considering that Italy represents a quarter of the entire EU market, this loss translates to a crippling blow to the aggregated EU sales.