ACEM, the European Motorcycle Industry Association, hosted its 10th annual conference in Brussels yesterday (30th Jan). The event attracted representatives from businesses, EU policy makers and national administrations. The discussions addressed the challenges faced by the motorcycle sector in the EU, the opportunities created by emerging economies and how EU trade and industrial policy can effectively support the sector.
And why is that important to overland motorcyclists? Well ACEM presented provisional 2013 statistics for the powered-two-wheelers (PTW) sector. The figures clearly showed that the motorcycle industry still faces a critical situation with sales and registrations going down for six consecutive years. The greatest impact on those figures has been from the Southern European markets such as Italy, France, Spain and Greece which have been severely hit by the economic crisis and which were always large markets, especially for small capacity machines.
At the same time, new business opportunities for motorcycle producers are arising in emerging markets such as China, India and Vietnam. Although ACEM manufacturers have established operations in many of them, the industry remains very concerned about critical regulatory obstacles such as excessive import duties.
ACEM strongly believes the adoption of global motorcycle construction standards would significantly improve the overall competitiveness of the motorcycle industry and reinforce Europe’s manufacturing base. While that may be just another step toward bland homogenisation, interestingly, if they get their way, the upside would be that global travellers using younger machines just might be able to buy spare parts just about anywhere that your particular model is sold…