By Guido Ebert, Associate Editor
Backed by seven major powersports manufacturers, the All-Terrain Vehicle industry European Association, or ATVEA, officially launched operations May 27 during a ceremony at the Renaissance Hotel in Brussels, Belgium.
Organizers, citing strong growth in the market, said ATVEA members will attempt to work closely together and with authorities and organizations concerned with the ATV market “to ensure it develops under the best possible conditions for users and society.”
“ATVEA’s key aims will be to listen to the wishes of the users, promote the correct and responsible use of ATVs on both private and public terrain, contribute to legislative processes affecting the industry, educate and train users of ATVs, and foster cooperation with other industry stakeholders on an international basis,” said Herry Kleyn van Willigen, president of the new non-profit industry association.
Supporting vehicle manufacturers include Arctic Cat Inc., Bombardier Recreational Products Inc., Honda Europe Motorcycle, Kawasaki Motors Europe, Polaris Sales Inc., Suzuki France and Yamaha Motor Europe.
ATVEA says the total European market for ATVs last year was 90,000 units, and predicts significant increases over the next five years (Fig 1).
According to Kleyn van Willigen, the association will monitor trends in the market and produce facts and figures on the industry while maintaining four distinct objectives: 1) To promote the correct and responsible use of ATVs in Europe; 2) To contribute to the development of an appropriate legal and regulatory framework regarding the design and use of ATVs; 3) To contribute to ATV user education and training; and 4) To cooperate with other industry stakeholders on an international basis.
Furthermore, ATVEA members agree to promote, through advertising and marketing efforts, the use of appropriate safety equipment; work towards the adoption of legal requirements for appropriate ATV construction and use in the European environment; implement an effective voluntary education program; and ensure that dealers and distributors do not misrepresent ATVs.
“The use of ATVs has recently expanded in Europe, while the number of ATV suppliers on the market follows the same trend. However, homologation and traffic rules in the EU
were developed before ATVs became popular. As a consequence, certain gaps exist between ATV technology, the expectation of the user and the regulations,” said Kleyn van Willigen.
“Our members have agreed to work more closely together, with authorities and organizations concerned, to ensure the European ATV sector develops under the best possible conditions for its users and for society.”
ATVEA has three committees — a Technical Committee, an Education Committee, and a Marketing Committee — to accumulate, decipher and report on factors most affecting the four-wheeler market in Europe.
Technical Committee members work to provide a cross-industry opinion on technical and legal aspects of the ATV sector. The Technical Committee aims to develop the homologation and regulatory aspects related to the European ATV sector. Through common standards industry can work with the European Institutions and National Authorities to ensure that the correct frameworks and laws apply to the specific needs of the ATV.
The ATVEA Education Committee brings together members to discuss methodologies through which the general public can be educated to use ATVs responsibly and in a legal manner. The Committee wants to ensure that adequate programs exist in Europe to educatate users regarding the proper use of ATVs. The Committee aims to build appropriate European standards for training and education materials and to set up common industry standards where possible.
Finally, the Marketing Committee monitors market developments and trends to provide facts and figures on the industry. It deals with issues regarding the promotion of the ATV sector, the use of ATVs and the promotion of ATVEA as the sector's voice to the wider world. The Committee also assists in the work of ATVEA's Education and Technical Committees to provide ATVEA and the ATV sector with maximum visibility.
Membership in the ATVEA is open to all ATV and equipment manufacturers with a European representation office, national associations and other interested stakeholders.
For further information regarding ATVEA, contact ATVEA Secretariat c/o LOGOS, Rue Vautier 54, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium; Tele. 32 2639 6237; FAX. 32 2644 9017. psb
Copyright 2004 Powersports Business