Friday, 16 December 2016

ShowZone 2017

UK Dealer Expo, Stockholm, Zurich, Dublin and Madrid headline a busy new year show schedule
The ‘majors’ may be over for another year (two years in the case of INTERMOT), but with the debut of ‘INTERMOT Customized’ showing that there is vibrancy on the biggest of stages.
However, the next three or four months now see a number of the smaller European markets and specialty events take their moment in the spotlight as we head into 2017.
The new year kicks-off with the popular UK Dealer Expo at Stoneleigh, near Coventry in England, opening its doors for the 22nd time for three days from Sunday January 15 to Tuesday 17.

With new motorcycle registrations growing quickly in the UK, the past four years are said to have seen an average of 3,800 visitors representing some 1,800 UK motorcycle industry businesses. With research showing that 89 percent of all show visitors are decision makers, with 80 percent of them going there to do business, it is no wonder that a massive 91 percent of 2016 exhibitors said they planned to return in 2017.

The UK Dealer Expo is Europe's largest Dealer specific show. It averages 3,800 visitors, representing some 1,800 businesses, 89 percent of who are said to be buying "decision makers"; at the time of going to press IDN was told that exhibit space is already sold out for 2017, with 6 weeks to go until the show opens on January 15th, 2017

The Expo is some 30 minutes away from Birmingham International Airport and at the heart of the UK motorway network
A week later Moto Bike Expo (MBE) will fill four halls at the Verona Expo Centre in northern Italy from Friday January 20 to Sunday 22. A combined custom and ‘mainstream’ consumer expo, “Verona” has seen attendance grow ever since its move from Padua in 2009.
At the end of January, Sweden’s annual show, MC-Massan, returns to the capital Stockholm (26 to 29 January 2017) in its biennial rotation with Gothenburg.
Meanwhile, in the United States, the annual specialty V-Twin Expo will take place at its usual downtown exhibition centre venue in Cincinnati, Ohio (Saturday January 28 and Sunday 29.
Billed as “The Only Show of its Kind”, which it is - as the only independently owned and operated dealer show for the Harley-Davidson aftermarket and custom v-twin parts and accessory industry – it is nonetheless a crowded few weeks for motorcycle dealers of all kinds in the United States with the market’s two major parts and accessory distributors holding their own dealer shows in February: Tucker Rocky/Bikers Choice are playing host to their dealers in Texas on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 of February, and just 10 days later Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties set up shop at the RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 February.

In fact, that weekend are at least three motorcycle industry events in play that we know of, with the annual MCN Show (as it is known) taking place at the Excel Expo Centre in East London from January 17 to 19 and the excellent Swiss Moto being staged at Zurich from February 16 to 19; the following weekend it is the chance for Dutch riders to join in the fun with Motorbeurs, the largest motorcycle show in The Netherlands, taking place from 23 to 25 January at Utrecht

Highlights in March and April include (but are not limited to!) the biennial Carole Nash Irish Motorbike & Scooter Show, taking place at Dublin, Ireland, from March 3 to 5; MotoSalon, Prague, March 2 to 5;  Moto Days, Rome, March 9 to 12; Daytona Bike Week, Florida, USA, March 10 to 19

MotoMadrid from March 24 to 26; Tokyo Motorcycle Show, March 24 to 26; InaBike, Jakarta, Indonesia, March 29 to April 1; Motorcycle Taiwan, 20 to 23 April


Yamaha unit sales up in Europe and Japan for nine months to September 30th 2016

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announced consolidated business results for the first nine months of its 2016 financial year that put consolidated sales at 1,132.8 billion yen, (a decrease of -93.4 billion yen or -7.6% compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year), and operating income of 88.9 billion yen (a decrease of -16.1 billion yen or -15.3%).
Developed markets experienced a decrease in sales and income compared with the same period the previous fiscal year due to the appreciating yen. In the emerging markets motorcycle business segment, while net sales decreased due to lower unit sales in Indonesia and Brazil, operating income increased compared to the previous year thanks to product mix improvements and the effects of cost reductions such as promotion of the platform transition.
Net sales of motorcycle products overall were 699.2 billion yen (a decrease of -85.0 billion yen or -10.8% compared with the same period the previous fiscal year), and operating income was 28.6 billion yen (a decrease of -4.8 billion yen or -14.3%).
For unit sales in developed markets, while Japan and Europe experienced increases, the planned reductions in distribution inventories in North America led to overall unit sales on almost a similar level as the previous year.
Unit sales in emerging markets such as India, Vietnam and the Philippines increased, but decreased in Indonesia and Brazil due to market slumps etc. These results led to an overall decrease in motorcycle business net sales.
Operating income increased in emerging markets thanks to product mix improvements and the effects of cost reductions such as promotion of the platform transition, but decreased in developed markets due to the appreciating yen, leading to a reduction in income overall.

Italian motorcycle registrations

Italian motorcycle registrations +18.30 percent for the first 10 months of 2016

The latest data released by the Italian motorcycle industry trade association (ANCMA, Milan) shows new motorcycle registrations for the first ten months of 2016 up by +18.3 percent at 69,300 units for the year-to-date. In October, the market was worth 3,859 new motorcycles, +12.7 percent.
Total PTW registrations were +11.5 percent (177,084 units) for the first 10 months of 2016; in October total PTWs were +4 percent (11,305 units).
Scooter sales were +7.5 percent for the first 10 months of the year at 107,784 units sold. The largest scooter market is for 125cc machines, which account for 39,897 of all scooter sales in Italy, +12.5 percent over the first 10 months of 2015. Next largest is the 300 – 500 cc sector, at 33,735 units, which is up by +4.8 percent. The high-value 500cc+ maxi scooter market is up by +3.7 percent at 8,028 units. The 150 to 250cc scooter market in Italy was +5.1 percent for the first 10 months of the year (26,124 units).
The top selling motorcycles in Italy so far this year are the BMW R 1200 GS, the Honda ‘Africa Twin’, Honda’s NC 750 X and Ducati’s Scrambler 800.
In unit number terms, the largest market sector in Italy in the first ten months of the year was the ‘Naked’ style bike market, which at 24,573 units was up by +21.1 percent over 2015, followed by the Enduro market (22,863 units, +27.00 percent over 2015). Supermotard models are +37.2 percent on low volumes (2,607 units); tourers are up by +3.3 percent (8,223 units).

Motorcycle registrations in Spain

Motorcycle registrations in Spain +10.39 percent January – October 2016

According to the latest data released by the motorcycle industry trade association in Spain (ANESDOR), the motorcycle market there was up by +11.42 percent in October (12,171 units).

The market in Spain is now running at +10.39 percent for the year-to-date at 126,511 units (the highest for the first 10 months of the year since before 2009).
Moped registrations in October were +16.64 percent (1,521 units) and are +6.15 percent for the first eight months of the year at 14,319 units.
Total PTW registrations were +10.02 percent in October (13,692 units) and are up for 2016 so far by +9.23 percent for the year-to-date (140,828 units in total).
For the year-to-date Honda remains market share leader in Spain, having sold 21,684 units for a 17.1 percent market share, followed by Yamaha (19,183 units, 15.2 percent share) and Kymco (16,980 units, 13.4 percent share).
Scooter sales are up by +5.2 percent so far this year and represent some 64 percent of the total PTW market (80,677 units YTD). Road-going motorcycles are +20.2 percent so far in 2016, accounting for 32 percent of the market (40,954 units), and while off-roaders are +29.9 percent YTD, they only account for 4 percent of total PTW sales (5,140 units YTD).
ANESDOR General Secretary Jose Maria Riano welcomed the continued growth, pointing to this having been the best October since 2009, but warned that with many consumers rushing to get Euro-3 compliant vehicles on the road before the law changes (all new PTWs will have to be Euro-4 compliant for January 1st 2017), it remains to be seen if the growth seen in the second half of the year will sustain into the first months of 2017.


Autonomous cars to be tested with motorcycles

Following widespread concerns raised by some of Europe’s riders’ rights organizations, including Brussels based FEMA (the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations), vehicle authorities in Europe will cooperate with motorcyclists’ organizations and conduct their own test program with different brands of semi-autonomous cars.

Arjan Everink (KNMV), Dolf Willigers (FEMA), Anton van der Heijden (RDW), Jan Sybren Boersma (RDW) and Wim Taal (FEMA) – the RDW has agreed that testing with motorcycles should be part of the test protocol for European type approval of so-called autonomous cars and those with cars with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, including systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Changing System (LCS). Field tests could start as early as 2017.

Those concerns center around the extent to which the testing of fully and semi-autonomous systems had been calibrated to account for the presence of motorcycles.
This is in response to lobbying of RDW – the Dutch Vehicle Authority that issued the European type approval for Tesla – by FEMA, the Motorcycle Action Group in the Netherlands, and the KNMV, the Royal Dutch motorcycle riders association.
At a meeting with the RDW, at which the motorcyclists’ worries were discussed, it transpired that despite granting type approval, the RDW shared many of the concerns raised.

As a result, the RDW proposes - in cooperation with the motorcyclists’ organizations - to conduct their own test program with different brands of cars with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. RDW also believes, as do the riders, that testing with motorcycles should be part of the test protocol for European type approval.
Dolf Willigers, General Secretary of FEMA, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of this first meeting with the experts of RDW. We are going to act together and we will see in the field tests to which extent the technique takes motorcyclists into account.”

Comment by Editor, Robin Bradley

Technology, technology and more technology

I’ve never been to the famous Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – famous as the showcase for cutting-edge new tech, and trend pathway to the future of consumer devices and diversions.
But INTERMOT and EICMA this year showcased the ever-closer link between electronics and the motorcycle ownership and riding experience.
We’ve been accustomed to rider communications systems for several years. Vendors have been enhancing the social experience of motorcycling for a long time, and being able to actually hear your passenger trying to talk to you, or talk to those you are riding with, is something that we are now able to take for granted.
We have lived with the increases in security tech and tracking for some years now too, and device management has become a hot ticket in recent years - with specialist electronics businesses reaching beyond their traditional core battery charging and care competencies to charge our smartphones, iPlayers and tablets, to power our GPS, heated clothing and audio systems.

"integration of proprietary systems will have huge effect"
Now we are seeing a next generation of tech-thinking for riders, including endeavours to make the long dreamt of heads-up displays (HUD) concept a reality, some by using “augmented reality” (Nolan/Sony for example). In Givi’s case, windshields are the “screen of choice”, with their Samsung collaboration looking promising.
Then there is the now burgeoning area of airbags (congratulations to In&motion and IXON in particular for taking the step of severing the umbilical cord), and the area that I personally think is of massive importance and potential – the e-call market.
I use the term “market” advisedly, because whereas demand and value still remains unproven with some of the emerging technologies, there can be no doubt whatsoever that the whole area of intelligent systems and emergency calling is going to emerge as a massive market, a major boon to generations of riders moving forward, and one that future generations of motorcycle users will wonder how on earth their predecessors managed without … it will become something as basic and all pervasive as colour TV screens.
As regular readers of IDN will know, at the end of last year, 2015, we gave our “Product of the Year” award to a German business – Digades – for having the first “aftermarket”/retro-fit e-call system available. They are so far ahead of the game that at this stage there remains a “who to call” deficit in much of Europe, but that won’t last long - with such systems becoming mandatory on new cars soon, and the safety spotlight being shone on motorcycles at this time, get ready for it, it is coming, ultimately, to every motorcycle and every rider.
The integration of proprietary systems by OE motorcycle manufacturers will have a huge effect, but it seems to me that the ultimate destiny of such systems is into the realm of the individual, the realm of portability, and into integration with the other devices and communications that future generations (indeed many Millennials) are already finding impossible to imagine life without.
There are obvious dangers of course, those of system and technology platform reliability, of rider distraction, and of operator efficacy. Let’s face it – the abilities of all riders and of all tech users are not equal, and system integration and dependency will bring as many new challenges to enjoying the ride as they will bring benefits.
For a start, conditions will be one big challenge, and voice recognition will be another one – that’s even before you get your head around the challenges of password and PIN recollection, Iris or finger print recognition, and system security!
With apologies to the businesses and brands I haven’t name-checked, and the initiatives and tech opportunities I haven’t mentioned (Rapid Bike and others in the tuning market for example), the post analogue world that will be defined by the dawn of digital will be simultaneously a very different and a very familiar one in which people will still want to have fun, ride motorcycles and live long, healthy and wealthy lives.
Those who think change is their enemy should look around them and take a reality check – change is the natural order of things, it is the permanent process of the natural world, so why would or could it not also be so in the artificial world of man-made objects.
After all, our entire system of commerce is entirely dependent on obsolescence and being able to make the sale over and over. Once these new technologies and gizmos have matured, served their time and themselves been superseded, the same underlying dynamic of parting consumers from their hard-earned cash (or credit line) will still beat away at the heart of that which drives all developments, technologies, and “progress” – profit.
In the depths of the recession, systematically scouring the booths, aisles and halls of our industry’s primary shows became quite a depressing, but always essential part of our annual routine here at International Dealer News. I remember writing here in this column about the glaringly apparent death of innovation, the apparent collapse in R&D spend and new product capital.
Kudos to our motorcycle manufacturers though, because whether it has been by recycling the past with retro bikes and styling scramblers, so-called “adventure touring” (the modern twist on there being bad or no roads and too many people!), by eschewing the existing cookie-cutter mindset and embracing something called “individuality” (who’d have thought!), or by allowing production technologies, materials science and electronics (see, history can repeat!) to develop product offers fit for “new gen” riders, their success in re-inventing our wheels has laid down a platform of modest growth that the “independent” sector can also now bank.
As this edition of IDN went to press, we were still a few days away from seeing EU new registration market statistics that included October in a 10-month YTD analysis, but the one sparkling little factoid that had emerged was that the “Big Five” GISFUK markets (Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the UK) were running at +7.5 percent in motorcycle registration terms for the first 10 months of 2016, with Italy and Spain showing year-on-year growth of over 10 percent each.
Quite rightly there has been much caution and concern as to whether the early signs of modest growth that have been emerging in the past three and a half years would prove sustainable, robust and something that can be built on. Well, it looks like the market’s growth is indeed robust and steady (for now at least) and, to judge by what was on show at (mostly) busy and vibrant INTERMOT (especially) and to a lesser extent at a rather smaller EICMA, the “aftermarket” is also now poised to start clawing its way back from its own near-death experience and start “taking it to the bank” as well.


Galfer scoops prestigious quality award

Spanish brake manufacturer Galfer has been recognised by KTM-Husqvarna for the quality of its products and the service it provides to the Austrian manufacturer. 

For more than a decade Industrias Galfer has been supplying brake discs for KTM and Husqvarna motorbikes, for both OEM models and Powerparts spare parts. Galfer produces Wave and Round brake discs for most KTM and Husqvarna road and off-road bikes.
Year after year KTM acknowledges Galfer as one of their best suppliers with the highest quality levels, and recently awarded the Spanish manufacturer with the KTM Supplier Quality Award 2015. Galfer said they were “honoured and grateful for this special recognition”.

Galfer CEO, Umberto Milesi

Founded in 1952 by Maffio Milesi, the company is still owned and operated by the Milesi family - at a 6,000 sq m facility at Granollers near the Circuit de Catalunya. Industrias Galfer employs some 50 people altogether at all its locations, and makes more than 500,000 brake discs and in excess of one million brake pad sets a year. Galfer exports to over 50 countries and has two sister companies, Galfer USA and the recently formed IG Italia.

Commenting on the accolade from KTM-Husqvarna, present day CEO and founder’s son Umberto Milesi said that “all our discs, pads and brake lines are designed and manufactured to the strictest possible quality control standards. The production process begins in the R&D Department - the materials we use are developed in our own laboratories and subjected to rigorous chemical analysis and physical testing.
“Our Methodology Department designs the production processes with the Engineering Department, and finally, the Quality Department certifies the quality and reliability of our products according to ISO standards. We apply the same attention to detail and standards to all our products, OEM fitment and retro-fit. We are continually introducing new technologies, new procedures, new materials and new product designs so we can guarantee that all our customers are receiving the best products on the market”.


Smart Windshield technology

The result of an innovative collaboration with Samsung Electronics, EICMA saw Italian luggage-to-helmets manufacturer GIVI unveil a prototype Smart Windshield – believed to be the first such concept to make it to the prototype stage.

Described as a “revolutionary tool for young people who ride scooters daily”, Smart Windshield is a solution designed for urban mobility that can offer “functionality for ensuring a greater level of road safety”.
According to ACVISTAT data, 24% of Millennials use their smartphone while riding, a figure which, combined with the high number using two-wheeled vehicles (8.4% among 14-19 year olds and 4.8% among those aged 20-29), confirms the importance of investing in solutions for enhancing safety and preventing dangerous distractions. 

Smart Windshield allows the rider to access information from his or her smartphone with the help of an App, where calls, SMS and WhatsApp messages, browser, e-mail and other notifications can be displayed directly on the windshield, which will allow the rider to choose whether to stop to answer them or trigger an automatic reply.
GIVI says that Smart Windshield has a special design that brings together “all the necessary technology and will be available in different scales, depending on the type of scooter or Samsung device used, to offer all riders a safe journey, with maximum brightness, even at night, and greater stability on the road”.