Press Releases

Motorcycle Industry welcomes EESC public hearing

Welcoming the opportunity offered by the European Economic and Social Committee's public hearing on "Industrial change and prospects for the motorcycle industry in Europe", ACEM described the effects of the economic crisis on the Powered Two-Wheeler (PTW) sector as critical.

Brussels, 13.11.2009 – Policy makers, manufacturers and representatives of the civil society met yesterday at EICMA 2009, the 67th International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan, looking into the effects that the economic crisis is having on European Motorcycle Industry and proposing measures leading to recovery. The public hearing, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee, aims at issuing recommendations to the European institutions that will maintain and boost competitiveness and employment in the sector.
Registrations for the European PTWs market have been dropping sharply since the last quarter of 2008 (-27%). This brings back the market by 16 years. Compared to one year ago 750.000 less PTWs were sold in the EU. 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 component 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.

Participants to the hearing agreed on the need of supporting measures bolstering demand in the medium term, particularly as regards vehicles with low environmental impact and advanced safety features. Furthermore there is the need to restore a level playing field between the EU and emerging manufacturing countries through effective market surveillance.

Addressing the future PTW technical regulation ACEM urged the EC to carefully consider the intrinsic characteristics of the sector and its possibilities in the current difficult context, and set the goals of the future regulation accordingly considering appropriate lead time. The Industry proposed already last December a series of technical measures calling for a constructive cooperation with the EU Institutions.

Jacques Compagne, Secretary General said: "The Motorcycle Industry is facing a critical situation due to the economic crisis and its effects on one side, and on the other to the upcoming proposal from the Commission regarding the new requirements for PTWs. By studying the PTW sector the EESC can contribute to sustain it out of this difficult situation. It is important that EU policy makers are well informed about this situation and the conclusions presented by the EESC encourage measures to alleviate the enormous pressure on this important part of the economy.
Uncertainties do not come only from the economy and the fall in demand but also from the European Commission who seems hesitant to acknowledge this dramatic situation".

Note to editors:
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is a consultative body that gives representatives of Europe's socio-occupational interest groups, and others, a formal platform to express their points of views on EU issues. Its opinions are forwarded to the larger institutions - the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament. It thus has a key role to play in the Union's decision-making process. Consultation of the EESC by the Commission or the Council is mandatory in certain cases; in others it is optional. The EESC may, however, also adopt opinions on its own initiative as is the case of the present look at industrial change in the two-wheel motor vehicle sector in Europe and issue recommendations to the European institutions with a view to maintaining and boosting competitiveness and employment in this sector. This is all the more important in view of an upcoming proposal for a framework regulation on type-approval of two- and three wheel motor vehicles and quadricycles, which the European Commission intends to present in early 2010.

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.

For more details on ACEM’s proposals to the PTW Regulation click here

Press contact: Filippo Segato, ACEM Communication Officer, +32 (0)2 2309732 or f.segato[AT]acem.eu.

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