Sales of small motorcycles and mopeds in Europe dropped by more than 60% between 2007 and 2014. In terms of total small motorcycles and mopeds on the road, some markets saw massive declines, Italy dropping by 61%, while others have seen significant gains, like the Netherlands (up 76%). The UK has a relatively low uptake of moped use, with only 1.7 per 1,000 people.
Over the past eight years, the number of small motorcycles and mopeds sold in the European Union (EU) and the EFTA* has dropped dramatically, down from almost 900,000 in 2007 to just over 350,000 in 2014, reveals an analysis by Consultancy.uk based on data from Conebi**. Spain saw the largest drop in sales in terms of both volume and percentage (down 111,000 stocks, -88%), followed by Italy at 78% and Germany at 63%. In the three countries with the highest purchase volume – France, Netherlands and Poland – sales dropped at a lower rate than the European average, and as a result the countries gained market share in the ailing industry.
Europe roads by the moped
During the same time span, the total number of mopeds on the road in the EU and AFTA dropped almost 12%, down from 13.7 million units to 12.1 million. The stock has however fluctuated over the years. The number fell from its near 13.7 million units in 2007 to 12.2 million in 2009, before increasing again by more than a million units to 13.3 million in 2009. Delving deeper into the data shows that there is considerable variation between countries: Italy has seen by far the largest drop in mopeds registered on the road, down from around 5 million units in 2006 to 2 million in 2013, a 58% decrease. The Netherlands on the other hand saw moped numbers increase by 76%, from 711,000 to more than 1.2 million, while Eastern European countries Czech Republic and Poland have seen their stock grow by a massive 691% and 245% respectively.
Following a large drop in sales in 2009, down 45% compared to 2008, sales have continued to deteriorate in the UK in recent years. In 2007 sales of new small motorcycles and mopeds tallied nearly 25,000, while last year total sales reached 10,600, a decrease of 57%.
Mopeds are not as popular in the UK as in the Netherlands or Italy. In 2007 there were slightly under 170,000 of them on the road. Since then, the number has decreased by 34% to around 110,000. Given that that UK’s population counts around 64 million, while the Netherlands has around 17 million people, the number of mopeds per 1,000 citizens in the UK is around 1.7 while for the Netherlands it stands at around 70.
Earlier this month Consultancy.uk featured a similar analysis on the European motorbike market, finding that over the past decade the sales of new motorbikes has shown a similar trend to its smaller-sized family motorbikes, dropping by 45% between 2005 and 2014.
* European Free Trade Association members Norway and Switzerland.
* Conebi = the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industries.