It goes without saying that the European motorcycle market is considerably more diverse than what we see in the U.S. With a wider selection of motorcycles due to stricter licensing parameters, manufacturers need to expand their model ranges with bikes in the 125cc, 300cc to 500cc, and 650cc+ categories. On top of that, more and more people are hitting the road on electric motorcycles.
With that, the sales figures for the first quarter of 2023 are in for the European market, and things seem to be looking up for the motorcycle industry. In total, there was a 15.5-percent increase across the top five European markets as compared to the first quarter of 2022. Let's dive right in.
First place is Italy, that has seen a total of 78,997 new motorcycle registrations from January to March 2023. This reflects an impressive 31.1-percent growth versus the first quarter of 2022. In second place, we have Germany, with a total of 54,964 two-wheelers newly registered in the first quarter of 2023 – 13.2-percent more than the same period of last year. In third place, France set a total of 48,945 new registrations, marking a 7.1-percent increase versus sales figures of Q1 2022. In fourth and fifth place, we have Spain with 44,127 new registrations, and the U.K. with 26,826 new registrations, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, electric two-wheelers have bee picking up quite a lot of steam recently. In Q1 of 2023, a there was a 1.2-percent increase with total registrations amounting to 8,890 units. Most notably, the German electric two-wheeler market grew by a whopping 89.9-percent thanks to 2,672 new registrations. France, with its aggressive push for electrification, saw only a 1.2-percent growth in sales with 2,168 new EV-two-wheeler registrations. Interestingly, however, Italy's two-wheeler EV market shrunk by 2.3 percent, registering just 2,054 new electric two-wheelers in the first quarter of 2023.
With the generally positive outcome of the first quarter of 2023, the European motorcycle industry seems to be bouncing back from a rather lackluster 2022. Indeed, should the trend continue, we could be looking at in excess of one million new motorcycles sold when 2023 draws to a close.