Europe March. Sales kept fast growing ending the first quarter up near 20%

European Motorcycles Sales

European Motorcycles Market confirmed in March the almost positive start of the 2019, with sales up 17.8%, ending the first quarter with near 20% increase. Sales are collected through local Ministers of Transportations and covers 37 markets, including Turkey and Russia.


Economic Environment

European economy stuttered again in Q4 2018, with growth barely picking up after the Q3’s weak performance. Downbeat sentiment, troubles in the manufacturing sector and the unwinding of inventories weighed on the domestic economy. While the economic backdrop remains somber in 2019—with heightened uncertainty over Brexit and tariffs on the automobile industry—recent signs have emerged of a tentative stabilization. Retail sales jumped in January and the unemployment rate held at a multi-year low, boding well for household spending. Low oil prices, meanwhile, should keep inflation and the import bill in check. Furthermore, although economic sentiment continued to fall in February, the pace of decline moderated significantly.

The Eurozone’s growth outlook was cut for a fifth consecutive month on the back of a disappointing 2018 and ongoing woes in the manufacturing sector. Risks to activity linger from automobile tariffs, political uncertainty and sluggish global demand. Nevertheless, a tightening labor market, contained inflation and accommodative monetary policy should provide some relief.

Market Result in 2019

According to data collected by MotorCyclesData research team, sourcing from local Minister of Transportations or National Statistics agencies and aggregated for 37 European countries (from Portugal to Russia, including Turkey) the start of the 2019 was really positive for the European motorcycles industry, with a level of growth above expectations and driven by the explosion of the electric fueled models.

Following an already positive January, with sales at 82.976 units (+9.7%) and a record growth in February, when the market scored the best year-on-year growth in this decade with sales at 103.1161, up a roaring 31.6%, In March the trend was confirmed with 176.296 sales, up 17.8%. Year to date figures are 362.387, up 19.3%.

Last month we affirm was early to “uncork champagne bottles”, consider that in Q1 2018 the market peaked down due to the euro 3 models sales anticipation in the Q4 2017 for the January 1st 2018 deadline for Euro 4 standard introduction. However today, following the +19.3% reported in the entire Q1, we foresee the start of a new pathway for the market, despite not positive economic environment

Indeed, the motorbike segment was already growing up since few years, while in this quarter time the market was pulled by the scooter segment (two, three and four-wheeler). Year to date the motorcycles segment was up 16.2%, while 50cc scooter/moped were +29.0% and Scooter 50cc plus up 18.9%.

Electric segment is booming reporting a +42.3% year to date.

At country level, year to date France was again biggest market with 66.516 sales and an outstanding +31.8%.

In second place Italy with 60.501 sales (+16.9%) followed by Spain with 43.099 (+19.1%),  Germany with 50.101 (+22.3%), Turkey with 28.187 (-2.0%), Great Britain with 25.182 (+2.3%), the Netherlands with 17.276 (+39.9%) and Belgium with 11.618 (+17.6%).

In nine place  Switzerland with 9.790 sales (+14.7%) ahead of Austria with 7.686 units (+35.7%).

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Market Heritage

In the 2018 the continental two-wheeler market had been moderately negative with 1.59 million sales (-1.3%) confirming the reduced rule of this area with the Global industry.

Indeed, during the last decade, the European market become marginal in the Global Motorcycles scenario, having lost steam while all the others regions – a part North America – grew up. As result, Europe (37 countries including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey) actually covers only the 2.4% of the motorcycles global market.

Total continental sales fell down from 1.89 million units in the 2012 to 1.59 million in the 2018, when sales fell down for the third year in a row.

Looking at the single market, in the 2018 France confirmed the rule as largest market, despite losing 6.4% at 266.656 units.

The second market was Italy, with 247.940 sales (+4.3%) followed by Germany with 184.501 (+4.%) Spain with 182.800 (+12.3%) and Turkey with 159.337 (+1.0%).

In sixth place the Great Britain with 105.816 (+0.3%) ahead of the Netherlands with 72.883, down 27.0%, the worse performance for the Top 20 markets, Belgium with 46.979 (+12.3%), Switzerland with 44.085 (-7.3%) and in 10th place Austria with 38.142 units (-6.4%).

Within the segments, the motorbikes is growing while the below 50 cc scooter are heavily losing. The electric 2 wheeler vehicles are still marginal, but small scooters segment is growing, mainly in France and Spain, with Ev total sales at 56.000.


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