In line with IDN and ACEM predictions, 2014 finally saw motorcycle sales in Europe start to increase again following continuous decline that has seen them fall by more than 50 percent from 1.524m in 2007 to under 740k in 2013.
Last year the market bounced by 7.9 percent to see 798,328 new motorcycles sold and registered in 21 of the 28 markets of the European Union for which data was available when Brussels based ACEM concluded their provisional research for European market data at the end of January.
There will be a mid-year update, and historic data and current trends suggest that a further 9,000 to 10,000 new motorcycles will be reported as sold at that time. This data doesn't include EFTA nations such as Norway, where 4,128 motorcycles are reported as sold last year (up from 3,979 in 2013) and the impressive Swiss market where sales were up 5 percent to 39,847. Switzerland reputedly has the highest ownership of motorcycles per head of population in Europe and is the 6th largest market in Europe overall.
While a lot of comparisons between National trade association data in Europe can be inconsistent because of varying classification and reporting practices, ACEM's monthly, quarterly and annual data does give a reasonably uniform like-for-like comparison and trend.
The ACEM data places Italy as Europe's largest motorcycle market in 2014 with 156,431 new units reported as registered (+1.62 percent, and 19.59 percent of the total EU number); with France second, 153,324 units (+3.66 percent, and 19.21 percent of the EU total); Germany third, 141,623 units (+9.27 percent, and 17.74 percent of the EU total); the fast recovering Spanish market 4th, 111,460 units (+20.27 percent, and 13.96 percent of the EU total); with the UK 5th, 91,492 units (+ 13.02 percent, and 11.46 percent of the EU total).
These five markets between them account for 82 percent of motorcycle sales in the EU (a total of 654,331 motorcycles). Altogether 16 of the 20 EU markets for which comparable year-on-year data is available are showing increases in registrations.
In total Powered Two Wheeler (PTW) terms the European market is basically flat, having dropped by just 11,645 units/-1.49 percent from 2013 to 1,099,018 units in 2014 (a 55 percent decline from the high of 2,437,928 units seen in 2007) due to the still depressed Moped market in Europe, which saw registrations in the EU fall by 10.6 percent units to 340,468 for the year.
Europe's largest Moped market was France where 98,170 new sales were registered - nearly 30 percent of the total number of Mopeds sold in Europe; The Netherlands was Europe's second largest Moped market (62,940 units, 18 percent of European sales); Poland was the third largest Moped market in Europe in 2014 (40,715 units, 12 percent of European sales).
The top model in Europe in new model sales terms was BMWs R 1200 GS which is reported as having 18,013 registrations in the EU data so far available; among the major markets it was the number one selling model in Germany, and third strongest in the UK.
Six out of the top ten selling models in Europe were in the 500cc+ category; Yamaha's MT-07 was second (13,125 units), their 530cc XP500 TMAX was fifth (7,846 units), with their MT-09 sixth (7,562 units); BMWs R1200RT was eighth (6,625 units) with Kawasaki's Z800 tenth (6,235 units).
Six of the top 10 best sellers in Germany were in the 500cc+ category; in France four were of 500cc or more (the MT-07 was the best seller in the class at third overall); three were over 500cc in the UK, where the R1200GS and R1200GSA were third and seventh respectively with Triumph's Tiger 1200 Explorer ninth; there were two models of over 500cc in the top ten in Italy - with the Kawasaki Z800 in eighth and Yamaha's XP500 TMAX Scooter in ninth.
In Spain, all ten of their top sellers are 125cc motorcycles, with Kymco's Agility City 125 and Super Dink 125 in first and second place.