Despite the global pandemic, motorcycle and scooter sales shot through the roof in the latter half of 2020. With social distancing measures in place, more people turned to outdoor activities and individual transportation. While vaccine rollouts have helped to ease local lockdowns, customers keep coming back to the showroom in 2021. In Europe, motorcycle sales aren’t just improving on 2020 figures, but also outpacing pre-pandemic numbers.
According to the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM), motorcycle registrations in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom—Europe’s five largest markets—totaled 792,819 units in the first nine months of the year. That’s a 10.6-percent increase over the same period in 2020. Those figures are eclipsing pre-pandemic sales in 2019 as well, with Europeans purchasing 60,225 (8.2 percent) more motorcycles through Q3 2021.
On the flip side, moped sales remained stable when compared to 2020 data. Through September, 2021, 206,751 units were sold in the six major European moped markets (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands). That’s actually a 0.2-percent decrease in performance, but the industry still enjoyed a 6.8-percent growth over the same period in 2019.
“The registration figures for the first nine months of 2021 confirm the recovery of the market after the impact of COVID-19,” stated ACEM secretary general Antonio Perlot. “More importantly, the latest data confirm that the two-wheeler markets in Europe have globally exceeded pre-Covid-19 figures, with significant increases for motorcycles and mopeds."
While the news is a big win for OEMs, leaner days may be in store. Several manufacturers have struggled to source semiconductors throughout 2021 and an impending magnesium shortage could cause even more production woes. For now, though, motorcycle manufacturers will take solace in the fact that they steadily grew the industry in the first three quarters of 2021 while also prepping new 2022 models.