March 13, 2006 – Italy’s two-wheeler market levels off

Two-wheeler sales in Italy during 2005 stayed nearly level with sales in 2004 as overall scooter sales declined slightly while motorcycle sales increased.
Another trend: Italian scooter and motorcycle brands continue to lose market share to imported units.
According to Italy’s Ministry of Transport, two-wheeler registrations there in 2005 — excluding units 50cc and smaller — numbered 421,080 units, down 0.1 percent from the 421,489 units registered in 2004. Motorcycle registrations accounted for 149,536 units, up 1.37 percent from 147,512 units in 2004; scooter registrations accounted for 271,544 units, down .89 percent from 273,977 units in 2004.
The most sought after categories of motorcycle, according to the Italian Motorcycle Industry Association — Associazione Nazionale Ciclo Motociclo Accessori (ANCMA) — included naked models, responsible for sales of 56,850 units; supersport models, with 33,432 units; road enduro models, with 27,635 units; custom models, with 9,495 units; touring models, with 8,716 units; and supermotards, with 7,621 units.
Concerning scooters, ANMCA said 250cc models proved most successful, with sales up 33.2 percent. Sales of units in the 150cc to 200cc category fell 13.4 percent, and maxiscooter sales fell 11.2 percent. ATV sales in Italy during 2005 numbered 7,774 units, up 64.7 percent from the 4,720 units sold in 2004.
Of the 421,080 units larger than 50cc registered in Italy in 2005, 211,500 units were produced domestically, down from 222,769 units in 2004, and 209,580 units were imported, up from 198,720 units in 2004.
The largest import vs. domestic shift was experienced in motorcycles. In 2005, 109,480 imported motorcycles were sold in Italy, up 7.6 percent from the 101,722 imported cycles sold in 2004. In comparison, sales of motorcycles made in Italy in 2005 numbered 40,056 units, down 12.5 percent from the 45,790 domestically manufactured bikes sold in 2004.
Regarding scooters — Italy’s most common form of two-wheeler — 100,100 imported scooters were sold in Italy in 2005, up 3.2 percent from 96,998 imported units in 2004. By comparison, 171,444 domestically produced scooters were sold, down 3.1 percent from 176,979 domestic units in 2004.
According to ANCMA, 2005 showed most significant improvement by units larger than 1,000cc, with sales up 31.3 percent; 125cc motorcycles, up 14.7 percent; and 650cc to 750cc models, up 9.3 percent.
In other industry news from Italy, legislation was recently approved enabling drivers of age to carry a passenger and governing the release of new number plates for 50cc models.
The new number plates are designed to reduce the number of thefts and insurance frauds. From now on, in order to sell a 50cc unit, it will be necessary to contact a vehicle registration agency to submit photocopies of seller and buyer documents and the vehicle frame number.

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