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Tuesday 23 July 2019

News Briefs


The Q1 ACEM registration statistics for the 28 member states of the EU show that, especially given the hype and the level of investment going into electric mobility, the levels of market take-up are still, actually, "shockingly" low. In Q1 only 13,553 electric motorcycles and mopeds were registered, only 2,295 of which were motorcycles. The largest market was France (4,307 units), followed by the Netherlands (2,598), Belgium (2,533), Spain (1,589) and Italy (766); France was also the largest market for electric motorcycles (581 units), followed by Germany (504), Spain (502), Italy (245), the Netherlands (150) and Austria (116).

Led by shops in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, calls are growing in Europe for the formation of an independent motorcycle dealer association. At present the only opportunities for dealers to organize are through their OE dealer groups. The mood music among over 100 dealers who attended the February meeting of the Austrian trade association's meeting was that up to a third of dealers could be facing threats to their existence.


In May Polaris CEO Scott Wine said that the Administration's proposed 25% tariff on imported Chinese componentry would be "downright catastrophic in terms of its impact on the company and employees" claiming that they could cost the company a third of its net income. Meanwhile, at time of press, it was still unclear whether or not the EU plan for a massive retaliatory tariff attack on U.S. made motorcycle component exports to Europe was still on the cards or not.

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) in the United States has re-elected well known motorcycle advocate Paul Vitrano of Indian Motorcycle/Polaris Industries as its chairperson, Chuck Boderman of Honda as vice chair and Jim Woodruff of National Powersport Auctions as secretary/treasurer. The 12 directors also retained/elected Tim Buche as MIC President and CEO. Buche has served as the leader of the MIC’s staff since 1996. Jeff Brown of EagleRider motorcycle rentals and Tim Calhoun of Helmet House were recently elected new members of the board. Established in 1914, the MIC HQ is in Irvine, CA., with a government relations office in Washington, D.C.


BMW has announced that it produced its 3 millionth motorcycle at the Spandau, Berlin factory in April this year - a S 1000R. The facility, which has 2,100 employees, started producing motorcycle components in 1939. BMW switched complete production of all bikes there in 1969. One million motorcycles have been produced there since 2011. BMW also has motorcycle production facilities in Brazil, Thailand, China and India.

While recent research suggests that 47% of consumers in the Netherlands would consider switching to some form of Electric Mobility for commuting in the future ('Pedelecs' mostly), such survey findings are still decades away from getting the showroom doors swinging. Market acceptance is especially soft in the major markets - some 39% would do so in Spain, 33% in Italy, but only 21% in Germany, 15% in France and as few as 11% in the UK.

According to International Dealer News (IDN), motorcycle registrations for the 'Big Five' largest motorcycle markets in the 28 nation EU accounted for 84.2% (206,386 units) of the total number for Q1 (244,991 units). The next largest markets with over 1,000 units registered were, in descending order, Belgium (6,519), Portugal, Greece, Austria, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sweden and Poland (1,356).