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International

14/09/2021

European motorcycle industry association ACEM has published a new piece of research by Oxford Economics, highlighting the financial, commercial and environmental benefits from powered two-wheelers across Europe.

Using data from 2019, this study found that the motorcycle sector contributed about €21.4bn (£18.3bn) to GDP spread over Europe. Every euro of GDP created directly by motorcycle businesses supported a further €1.80 of GDP in other industries, due to various knock-on expenditure impacts.

EU countries and the UK accounted for about 389,000 jobs in the sector through different activities, including the manufacturing of vehicles, parts, accessories and personal protective equipment.

In the area of international trade, EU and UK-based motorcycle manufacturers exported about €2.1bn-worth of vehicles, parts and components to non-European customers. Key export markets included the US, Australia and Japan.

The sector and related activities generated about € 16.6bn in tax revenue, making motorcycling an important contributor to public finances, particularly in large markets like Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Spain.

Oxford Economics research also examined additional benefits offered by motorcycles to their users and to the environment. A scenario analysis suggested that if 5% of those who commute by car across Europe (5.3 million commuters) switched to motorcycles, the aggregate time savings would be 21.2 million days per annum — worth €3.3bn to these users.

Powered two-wheelers were found to offer substantial cost savings as well, due to lower fuel use and operating expenditure. On average, the cost of commuting by motorcycle (€545) was nearly one-third of what it would cost to use a car (€1435) across a year.

Motorcycles offered a smaller environmental footprint than four-wheelers too, with the average powered-two wheeler in the European vehicle fleet emitting about 99g of CO2/km, less than half of the 210g CO2/km emitted by the average car (petrol or diesel). Bikes up to 250cc were found to emit on average 62g CO2/km. About 62% of Europe’s PTWs fall into this category.

Finally, the economic importance of motorcycle-related events — sports, trade fairs and events organised by OEMs — were examined. In total, these activities contributed about €2.1bn to Europe’s GDP and supported about 38,400 jobs. About five million spectators attended major motorcycle sporting events in Europe with MotoGP attracting about 1.8 million spectators to its 12 European races in the 2019 season. Furthermore, about 2.5 million people attended exhibitions and manufacturers' promotional events.