Europe’s Two-Wheelers Want to be Treated the same as Cars


Bologna (Italy), 26.3.2009 – The European Powered Two-wheeler industry will ask the European Commission and EU member states for same treatment as car industry.

Gathering for their annual General Assembly hosted by Ducati in Bologna, Italy, ACEM, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, urged for similar measures to those devised for the car sector to be applied to the powered two-wheeler industry in order to defy the economic crisis.

The General Assembly also unanimously confirmed Mr Pierer as President of ACEM for another two-year term and welcomed two new Members: BRP, manufacturer of a new concept of road tricycle, with an engine factory located in Austria, and ARGE2RAD, the Austrian Association of PTW manufacturers and distributors.

Recently, the European Commission announced initiatives and instruments to fight the downturn in the automotive sector. Due to its similarities to the car sector, the PTW industry should be  entitled to the same benefits. The PTW sector needs the same urgent and drastic measures aimed at preventing a prolonged period of recession, supporting manufacturing and continuing to drive forward the environmental goals that are shared by policy makers and manufacturers.

The Communication on the European automotive industry, presented on February 25th by the European Commission, clearly shows the need for urgent action and lists various options and tools. Inclusion of powered two-wheelers in the scope of the European Commission’s measures to respond to the crisis in the automotive sector would secure the future of an otherwise healthy and innovating industry.

Stefan Pierer, ACEM President and CEO of Austrian manufacturer KTM Sport Motorcycles, stated: “By identifying a series of tools and measures to support the automotive sector, the EU has shown its ability to act in times of crisis. Not unlike the car sector, the motorcycle industry is experiencing the same kind of problems and, despite our lesser size, we need the same kind of tools if are to successfully overcome this downturn”.

European Member States must tackle the PTW industry’s problems with the same determination  applied  to the car sector. Viable businesses and jobs are at stake in the motorcycle industry as well, which is being hit by the current economic crisis with new registrations down by 8% in 2008 and poor forecasts for 2009. These figures partially hide the significant -34% contraction (-42% for mopeds and -28% for motorcycles) of the last quarter of 2008 over the same period of 2007. This dramatic drop has been confirmed by the January 2009 registrations showing a further negative signal in major PTW markets in the range of -40%. In this context scrapping schemes aimed at supporting the demand for new vehicles and benefiting cleaner and safer mobility should be introduced.

“Another pressing issue to resolve – concluded Mr Pierer – remains the limited access to credit due to the non-functioning of the financial market. Action must be now taken without further delay to lift bureaucratic barriers and speed up implementation at national level. A coordinated European policy would not only ensure more fairness and respect for EU competition rules but – more importantly – greater efficiency in a single, European market”.

Mr Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati President and CEO, said: “As one of ACEM’s founding members Ducati is honoured to have hosted the General Assembly on the occasion of ACEM’s 15th Anniversary. Ducati has believed from the beginning in the necessity of uniting forces to achieve common goals but at the same time putting forward a strong image of the motorcycle industry which stands for excitement, innovation and industrial excellence. In spite of the economic challenges ahead, we will continue with the same passion and commitment to work together within ACEM for the wellbeing of the motorcycle sector in Europe”.

Last December ACEM announced a set of initiatives based on innovation, safety and environmental performance ensuring that the motorcycles and scooters of tomorrow will respond the future social needs and sustainability requirements while continuing to represent an exciting and convenient mobility tool.

About ACEM
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 25 motorcycle and moped brands, and 15 national associations out of 13 European countries, representing a turn-over of €10bn and guaranteeing jobs to over 200.000 people.