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Motorcycle Industry meets Commissioner Verheugen on economic crisis

ACEM discussed with Commissioner Verheugen a set of areas for urgent intervention to counteract the damaging effects that the economic crisis is having on the powered two-wheeler industry.

Brussels, 29.6.2009 - During a meeting with Vice President of the European Commission Günter Verheugen in charge of enterprise and industry, Stefan Pierer, President of Acem, the European Motorcycle Industry association, has reiterated the need to apply the same anticrisis measures to the PTW (powered two-wheelers) sector that have already been adopted for the automobile sector.
Registrations for the European PTWs market have been dropping sharply since the last quarter of 2008 (-34%). The severity of the economic downturn is putting users' purchase power under immense pressure with negative consequences not only for the manufacturers but also for the linked industry which spans from spare parts suppliers to dealer's networks. Suppliers and distributors are confronted with even more serious financial difficulties as they suffer from the combined effects of the orders' fall, over-stock and from the downgrading of their creditworthiness. About 10% of the PTW suppliers present a bankruptcy risk, while others have already ceased their activity.

During the first quarter of 2009 the European PTW market declined by 39%. Over the same period the automobile market was down by 17.2%.

Presented with the challenging reality of the PTW sector, Mr Verheugen agreed on the principle that the PTW industry should receive similar treatment than the car sector under Communication from the Commission "Responding to the crisis in the European automotive industry". These include scrapping schemes supporting demand through fleet renewal and easier access to finance for companies, including suppliers and dealers. Moreover DG Enterprise will study how to best integrate the PTW sector in upcoming EC initiatives, such as instruments for the production of greener and safer products and research partnerships on the mobility of the future under the 7th Research Framework Programme.

One other important item on the agenda was the on-coming PTW technical regulation, which will be issued by the European Commission in the spring of 2010. This regulation could prove detrimental to the PTW industry if not carefully weighed with industry possibilities and market acceptance in mind, as reflected by ACEM's proposals.

President Stefan Pierer stated: "Manufacturers are responding to difficulties and seeking to minimize the impact on people. But times are difficult and external support is necessary. We welcome Mr Verheugen's positive response and look forward to continuing the cooperation with DG Enterprise. In this critical economic context it is crucial not to burden the PTW sector with unrealistic regulatory constraints".

For more details on ACEM's proposals to the PTW Regulation click here
DG Enterprise MCWG - Motorcycle Working Group click here

Note to editors:
ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry in Europe, is the professional body representing the interests and combined skills of 12 powered two wheelers (PTWs) manufacturers producing a total of 26 motorcycle and moped brands, and 15 national associations out of 13 European countries, guaranteeing jobs to over 150.000 people. The aggregated turnover of the PTW sector (manufacturing, plus upstream and downstream activities) amounted to Euro 34 billion in 2006. Manufacturers alone account for Euro 7 billion. The members of ACEM are responsible for 90% of the production and up to 95% of the European powered two-wheeler (PTW) market.

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