Motorcycle registrations across Europe dropped steeply in March and April in comparison to the same period in 2019 as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. With dealerships closed and economies under lockdown, commercial activity has been virtually paralysed.
Total registrations in the 5 largest motorcycle markets (i.e. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) fell by 39.6% in March 2020, compared to the same month of 2019. The situation deteriorated even further in April 2020, when combined registrations in the largest markets fell by 74.9%, with some countries contracting by 84% to 96%.
The moped segment was equally impacted. The largest European moped markets (i.e. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain) fell by 37.9% in March 2020 on a year-on-year basis. In April 2020, moped registrations in the same markets decreased 55.1%.
Due to the seasonal nature of the market with sales concentrated in the spring, this impact of the outbreak in March and April has placed European dealerships under considerable financial pressure. In addition, dealers are now holding an excess of Euro 4 vehicles, which were being readied for the Spring season but which may become unsellable due to regulatory changes.
Europe’s motorcycle industry welcomes the various economy wide support measures that Member States and the Commission have put in place. The only additional request from the sector is for the Commission to extend the period in which Euro 4 vehicles can be sold, to avoid dealers being left with hundreds of thousands of unsellable products.
Commenting on the current situation of the sector, Antonio Perlot, ACEM Secretary General, said:
“With the progressive restart of activity, data for the next three months will give us a clearer overview of the final impact of the COVID-19 virus. Nevertheless, it is already clear that 2020 will be a very difficult year for the sector, with extraordinary disruptions on the activity of manufacturers, dealerships and suppliers”.
“ACEM and its members are working together with EU and national administrations to find a solution to the problem of hundreds of thousands of Euro 4 vehicles excess stock. This will require reviewing relevant legislation to ensure that motorcycle dealerships across Europe can recover from the effect of the COVID-19 crisis as soon as possible”.