The latest data released by ACEM, an industry trade group, shows motorcycle registrations grew by 7.2% during the first three quarters of 2016 on a year-on year basis. A total of 802,767 motorcycles were registered between January and September 2016, against 749,128 during the same period of 2015.
The group tracks the registrations of motorcycles, mopeds and three-wheeled vehicles across Europe, putting the first two categories into an overall heading of ‘Powered Two-Wheeled Vehicles’.
There are two ways to look at the recently released numbers, percentage growth and the number of motorcycles registered. Year-on-year motorcycle registrations increased in all of the largest European markets, including Italy up 12% with 160,602 units, Spain increase of 10.2% with 114,988 units), UK which grew 8.7% with 94,807 units, Germany saw 4.5% growth with 143,367 units and France which grew 2.1% with 129,835 units.
Using the column of growth by percentage paints an interesting picture of different European markets.
While there were 38.2 percent more motorcycles sold in Romania, this is only 219 more motorcycles registered in 2016 than in the same period in 2015. The same can be seen in Lithuania, a country which enjoyed 32.7 growth in motorcycle registrations with the actual number of new bikes registered in the first nine months totaling 369.
2017 K 1600 GT - Source BMW Motorrad
Humorous facts aside, it’s difficult to say whether the latest registration numbers fills in gaps left by the recent financial reports from Harley-Davidson and Polaris, parent company of Indian and Victory.
Polaris noted its sales to Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) fell 12 percent for the same period as the report from the ACEM. Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) Region was the best showing for Harley’s international sales increasing 1.9 percent in the third quarter and up 6.6 percent for the first nine months. The latter could indicate Europe has more love for heavier motorcycles than their American counterparts do.
With many motorcycle brands upgrading their 2017 models to meet the new European emission regulations, there’s every reason for continuing strong bike sales. However, even with these improving numbers, Europe is far from the height of its motorcycle sales seen in 2007 which saw 2.4 million registrations.
“This third quarter figures clearly show that the powered-two and powered-three wheeler sector continues recovering from the acute economic crisis that started in 2008,” ACEM Secretary General Antonio Perlot said. “As the European economy starts to [emerge] from its long slumber, European citizens will increasingly look for convenient solutions that meet both their mobility and leisure needs”.