The sale of new motorbikes in Europe has over the past decade fallen by 45%. The biggest drop occurred in Italy, where sales fell 62% between 2005 and 2014. On the other side of the spectrum stands the Czech Republic which saw its motor bike sales jump 63%. Although the UK has seen a comparatively modest decrease in motorbike sales, closer inspection finds that the 51-125 cc segment is up, while the heavier 126-1,000 cc segment has lost ground.
Over the past ten years, new motorcycle sales have decreased significantly across the European Union. Between 2005 and 2014, sales fell from almost 1.45 million units sold to 800,000, an analysis by Consultancy.uk based on data from Conebi* reveals. The drop in appetite for new motorcycles began after the financial crisis and has since continued. In 2007, sales increased 5.3% on 2005 to hit 1.52 million, two years later however – with the financial crisis hitting home – sales dropped a full 19% on 2005 figures to 1.17 million units. Since then, the industry continues to see lacklustre interest in new models across Europe, falling steadily in the studied years to reach a total decline of 45% to 798,000 units in 2014.
European Market share
New motorbikes sales vary considerably between countries however, and not every EU country entered into negative growth territory. Italy is the country that has seen the most significant drop off of interest in motorcycles since 2005, falling from 420.000 to 156.000 in 2014, a drop of 62%. The closest drop off occurred in the Greece, where sales fell from 83.078 in 2005 to 30.951 last year. The Netherlands, where electric bike sales have taken off, saw its new sales figures recede from 16.814 to 10.354, which amounts to a decrease of 27%.
The largest increase in motorbike sales occurred in the Czech Republic, where sales increased 63%, from 7.592 in 2005 to 12.441 in 2014. Portugal too saw a relatively strong increase in sales, at 18% with 4,100 more units sold last year.
The UK market
The UK has also seen a reduction in the total number of motorcycles sold over the past decade, dropping from 108.000 in 2005 to just under 92.000 last year. The market has picked up however last year, selling 14% more new motorbikes. An analysis of the types of motorbikes shows that the biggest change has been in the 51-125 cc segment, which since 2009 has gained a 10% market share vis a vis the other categories. The biggest loses have been in the 126-650 cc and 651-1,000 cc segments, down 4% and 6% respectively. The >1000 cc segment has in relative terms seen little movement.
* Conebi = the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industries.