MOTORCYCLE MARKET SLOWDOWN CONTINUES - INDUSTRY CALLS FOR ACTION
November 6 2009.


UK registrations of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds have recorded their 12th successive monthly fall. Registrations for October 2009 were 27.0 per cent down on the same month in 2008, according to the latest figures issued by the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI). 8,332 powered two-wheelers (PTWs) were registered in October 2009, a fall of 3077 on last year.

All categories of PTW suffered declines in October. Registrations in the Naked style dropped least, at 0.9 per cent down, while Supersports registrations fell 43.9 per cent. Over the first ten months of this year, 101,170 PTWs were registered, a drop of 19.4 per cent on the same period in 2008.

In light of these statistics, the industry has renewed its call for an incentive package designed to reverse this trend, noting that the scrappage scheme, introduced after 11 monthly falls in the car market, has helped the automotive sector return to growth.

In the short term, a scrappage scheme would not only support the industry's capacity to provide affordable and practical personal mobility, but bring environmental and safety benefits: a properly-designed scheme would incentivise the replacement of older, less fuel-efficient PTWs with lower-emitting vehicles carrying modern safety features. Experience in Italy, where the Government implemented an incentive of 500 ? for replacing any Euro 0 or Euro 1 motorbike with a new Euro 3 vehicle under 400cc, showed that consumers have an appetite for greener, cleaner machines.

The motorcycle industry plays an important economic and employment role in the UK, employing around 15,000 people, predominantly in small and medium-sized businesses, and turning over approximately £3 billion a year. The motorcycle is a significant provider of access to work, education and training: over half (52%) of all motorcycle trips in 2008 were made for the purpose of commuting, compared to just one-third (34%) of bicycle journeys and one-fifth (22 %) of car journeys.

Sheila Rainger, MCI Spokesperson said, " The MCI remains optimistic that innovative and attractive new products, shortly to be showcased at the Carole Nash International Motorcycle and Scooter Show, combined with the rising cost of alternatives - from the UK's first £1000 rail fare, to the forecast rise in fuel prices over the winter - will in the long term encourage more people to switch to two wheels.

"However, the motorcycle industry also wants to see government, legislators, local authorities and transport planners viewing motorcycling as a serious and relevant alternative to the use of cars and public transport. PTWs are part of the solution to the problems of congestion and pollution and should not be ignored or treated as an afterthought. Scrappage, is one scheme that could help to kickstart the market."