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European Q1 bike sales fall short of expectations

Bike sales failed to meet expectations in the first quarter across Europe, with registrations of all powered two-wheelers down 9.5 percent year-over-year, according to ACEM, the Association of European Motorcycle Manufacturers.

This was the lowest point in a decade for registrations, the group said in a market update, and it sets a tone for the season to come. According to ACEM, there were hopes the trend in declining registrations could be reversed, but an 8.2 percent drop in the European motor bike market went against expectations, driving the crisis in the European motorcycle sector into its fifth year.

Only two countries reported positive growth in Q1, with the United Kingdom increasing 2.7 percent year-over-year and Germany growing 1.5 percent year-over-year.

However, the four other member nations, France, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands, all reported a negative trend in the quarter. Spain was the hardest hit, losing 17.9 percent compared to last year, then Italy, which came down 14.8 percent; France lost 8.8 percent and The Netherlands dropped 7.9 percent year-over-year.

On a positive note, the group said, March sales recovered slightly after a drop of 14.4 percent in February year-over-year.

The moped market was harder hit than the over 50cc segment, dropping 12.3 percent. The 50cc plus segment dropped 6.35 percent.

Following the market’s performance this quarter, France maintained its position at the top of the market, which Italy had relinquished for the first time in 2011. The group said that this is “further indication of the structural modifications the PTW (powered two-wheeler) sector is undergoing.”

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