June 28 2012.

With a drop of 15% in the January - May 2012 period the European PTW market seems unable to arrest sales decline.

The first quarter of 2012 announced a grim year to come. The 8,2% decline in Q1 is confirmed by a -15% aggregated drop for the first five months of the year.

May did not even leave Germany unscathed (-6,7%), a market that seemed able to withstand the decline. However, the European situation is clearly to be attributed to the economic context underlying Southern markets, which are suffering from growing unemployment rates, instable political leaderships and crumbling consumer confidence.

Only the United Kingdom is resisting the collapse, with a modest + 0,7%.

Every other main European market reports double digit drops: France -14%, Italy -27%, Spain -21%, The Netherlands -22%.

In May only 151.924 PTWs were sold in the countries monitored by ACEM statistical service, compared to 193.973 in May last year, 21,7%. The political hesitation as regards the future of the eurozone is not helping to build the necessary confidence in European consumers, who are already worried by the enduring recession in the main traditional PTW markets.

This conclusion is confirmed by the fact that next to the United Kingdom only Switzerland (+2,2%) and Norway (+5,3%), two countries outside the euro zone with politically stable administrations, are performing positively.

During the first five months of 2012 mopeds saw a decline of 17%, while sales of PTWs over 50cc shrunk by 14%, compared to the same period in 2011.