The Safety of Your L-Category Vehicle is in Question

European Commission proposes long due Regulation on
type-approval of L-category vehicles

According to ACEM, main approach taken by the European Commission appears sound, but the specificity of the vehicles and appropriate lead-time have not always been properly considered – many crucial technical points remain open.

Brussels, 4.10.2010 – Today the European Commission adopted a long anticipated proposal on new type-approval of L-category vehicles. This proposal makes provisions on many different safety and environmental requirements for a wide range of vehicles such as two- or three-wheel powered cycles, mopeds, motorcycles with and without a side-car, tricycles, on-road quads and mini-cars. The Members of ACEM, the European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association, have been urging policy makers for a regulatory framework with a long-term vision ensuring employment and the competitiveness of the sector in Europe. 

Whilst broadly speaking the main approach of the European Commission appears sound, according to ACEM’s, in its complexity today’s proposal missed out on many important aspects which will need to be carefully considered by Council and European Parliament. These crucial technical points will also need to be addressed in the development of the four additional Regulations announced by the European Commission, which will contain test procedures, technical details and administrative provisions.
 
This regulation falls during a critical time for the motorcycle industry. The economic crisis triggered a drop in registrations of L-category vehicles. In 2010 the EU market has shrunk by one third compared to pre-crisis figures. The first semester of 2010 recorded a -30% compared to the same period of 2008, indicating that this sector is still far from recovery.

In this context, ACEM wishes to underline the utmost importance of the progressive introduction of environmental and safety measures allowing for sufficient lead-time, for new and existing types. This is particularly important given the price impact that the proposed legislative package will have, especially for small and medium displacement vehicles.  

The EC proposed provisions in regards to market surveillance are welcome to safeguard economic operators against unfair competition and, provided they are implemented effectively, will ensure re-establishing a level playing field and preventing non-compliant products from reaching the EU market, while restoring confidence in EU legislation.

The Motorcycle Industry in Europe is looking forward to working with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council on this proposal and will release more detailed comments in the coming days.

Stefan Pierer, ACEM President and CEO of Austrian manufacturer KTM Sport Motorcycles stated: “Since 2004 ACEM Members have been at the forefront of road safety, with voluntary commitments on Automatic Headlamp On and Advanced Braking Systems.  In regards to environmental measures, Industry proposals have been laid out already in 2008 presenting the EC with a feasible roadmap.  While the document reflects some of the industry proposals, the addition of some technically unrealistic requirements, which do not take into account current production and market realities, are of serious concern and require further detailed reflections, to ensure competitiveness and employment in the sector.”

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 80% of the European powered two-wheeler (PTW) market.

Reference document:
European Commission, Enterprise and Industry, Legislative Proposal:
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/automotive/documents/proposals/index_en.htm

More information, statistics and policy statements at: http://www.acem.eu/

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