January 30 2014.

ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry European Association, hosted today its 10th annual conference in Brussels yeserday. The event attracted more than 130 attendees representing businesses, EU policy makers and national administrations. The discussions addressed the challenges faced by the motorcycle sector in the EU, the opportunities created by emerging economies and how EU trade and industrial policy can effectively support the sector.

ACEM presented provisional 2013 statistics for the powered-two-wheelers (PTW) sector. The figures clearly showed that the motorcycle industry still faces a critical situation with sales and registrations of PTWs going down for six consecutive years (between 2008 and 2013). Moreover historically largest Southern European PTW markets such as Italy, France, Spain and Greece have been severely hit by the financial and economic crisis.

At the same time, new business opportunities for motorcycle producers are arising in emerging markets such as China, India and Vietnam. Although ACEM manufacturers have successfully established operations in many of them the industry remains very concerned about critical regulatory obstacles such as excessive import duties and non-tariff barriers. As the President of ACEM Stephan Schaller pointed out “Emerging economies offer enormous opportunities for growth, unfortunately market conditions are not always fair for European businesses”.

ACEM strongly believes that the harmonisation of technical regulations across regions is essential. The adoption of global standards, particularly within the framework of UNECE, would significantly improve the overall competitiveness of the motorcycle industry and reinforce Europe’s manufacturing base fully in line with the recent Commission’s communication on a European Industrial Renaissance. However, to be successful, this process must take into account the specific conditions of extra-EU developing economies, which represent today around 90% of the world’s market.

ACEM supports a global vision for the PTW market, with adequate regulatory and trade conditions benefitting both industry and consumers. As the President of ACEM Stephan Schaller stated: “Industrial policy must comprise smart and harmonized regulations, access to the markets, and fair competition. With this objective in mind ACEM will continue to closely work with the EU Institutions.”