French Motorcycles Market fast started in the 2019, reporting a Q1 sales of 66.516 units, up a robust 31.8%. Honda has reduced the gap from the market leader, Yamaha, while BMW is still on top of the premium segment. Peugeot is in fast recovery, doubling sales from the poor Q1 last year.
Fourth-quarter growth was modest but resilient, stable from a quarter earlier despite the social unrest of last year’s ‘gilets jaunes’ protests. Domestic demand was rocked by the demonstrations: Household spending stalled, while fixed-capital spending was hit by a drop-off in household investment. External demand beyond the Eurozone, on the other hand, was upbeat and helped offset the domestic woes. Particularly, export growth jumped on heavy-equipment deliveries. Available current-quarter indicators, meanwhile, depict uneven terrain. Economic sentiment appeared on the mend through February.
Analysts expect growth losing more steam this year against the backdrop of weakening EU growth outlook amid sustained global trade tensions and lingering Brexit-related uncertainty. Nevertheless, the economy looks poised to withstand most of the headwinds stemming from elevated external-sector risks, thanks to fiscal stimulus propping up private consumption.
At Global level the market is only the 20th, ahead of Italy and behind Peru (19th), Nigeria (18th) and Japan (17th).
The French two-wheeler market is among the most stable in Europe and in the last years was stable around the 275.000 units. In the last two years it was affected by the introduction of new European limits for emissions, which has been the main reason for the last year decline is in the new European emission regulation, the stage euro 4, introduced in January 2018, forcing the manufacturer to register with the end of December all euro 3 models is stock. The effect for a bulk of self-registrations in the Q4 2017 which pushed the year at the best level of this decade, 285.027 units, heavily penalizing the first half 2018 figures, with 2018 figures declining at 266.656 (-6.4%).
According to data released by the French Minister of Transportations, the start of 2019 was almost positive, also considering the favorable comparison with the correspondent period last year. Indeed sales grew up in January 21.4%, in February 42.4% and in March 31.5% with first quarter figures at 66.516 (+31.8%).
The 50 cc scooter segment reported the strongest increase, up 72.9%, due to the huge fall reported in Q1 2018, while scooter over 50 cc have been +20.9% and the motorcycles +16.9%. Among the bikes, while the street segment is up 32.2%, the enduro is down 10.4%.
French market is really fragmented with 388 different brands which have registered at least one model in the 2018.
The leader is Yamaha with 7.836 sales in the Q1 2019 (+21.4%), holding 11.8% of market share. Not far and very determined to get the leadership there is Honda with 7.456 sales (+33.7%) and with 11.2% of market share.
In third place Piaggio, leader among the scooter specialist, with 5.057 sales in the Q1 (+28.9%) ahead of BMW, leader in the premium brand segment, with 4.371 (+22.1%), Kawasaki with 4.078 (+15.6%) and Peugeot with 3.870 (+99%), in fast recovery after the Q1 2018 drop.