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ERRATIC EUROPEAN BIKES SALES RECOVERY

According to Europe-wide motorcycle industry organisation ACEM, first-quarter 2021 registrations of new motorcycles and scooters in five of the largest European markets — France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK— grew by 10.3%  to 197,856.

A strong 67.6% average increase in March managed to offset negativity in the first two months, which were respectively down by 29.8% in January and 12.8% in February.

However, quarterly trends varied considerably across different countries. Italy and France posted respective 47.3% and 15.1% gains, while the UK sank by 21.3%, Germany was 4.1% lower and Spain slipped by a marginal 0.5%. ACEM thinks this variation is linked to the different form of lockdowns imposed across European countries last year, and to the fact that 2020’s basis for comparison in some cases was exceptionally low.

Moped performed slightly better. In the six largest European moped markets — Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain — there were 56,535 registrations, representing a 21.6% increase.

Commenting on the current situation, ACEM secretary general Antonio Perlot said: “The registration figures for the first quarter of 2021 show that the sector continues to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, although at a different pace across Europe. It wouldn’t be fully accurate to compare this year’s figures with the ones from 2020 since a large number of dealerships were closed and several European economies were under lockdown last year. If we look at 2019, arguably a more normal year, 2021 motorcycle registrations are still behind by 4.1%, while mopeds show a substantial increase of 19%.”

Perlot added: “This shows that while uncertainties persist for European economies, at the same time the market is reactive. The attractiveness and convenience of powered two-wheelers for urban and peri-urban commuting, within a sanitary context in which public transportation has not been deemed a safe option, is confirmed. Also, more and more consumers are opting for motorcycling when it comes to safe leisure activities, such as touring closer to home.”

 

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