NCOM Biker Newsbytes
Motorcycle Industry Welcomes Ban On Gas Powered Vehicles
The Motorcycle Industry Association (U.K.) has welcomed reports of a ban on new fossil fuel-powered vehicles starting 2040, saying it will be a “tremendous stimulus” for bike makers.
The Government is due to announce a ban on the sale of new petrol (gasoline) and diesel vehicles from 2040 as part of an effort to tackle air pollution, according to several national newspapers. The measure is expected to include a ban on new hybrid vehicles and “could mark the beginning of the end of the prevalence of the internal combustion engine in automotive transport,” reports www.BritishDealerNews.co.uk.
The announcement will be in line with a similar commitment already made by France.
Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), pointed out that no specific mention had been made of motorcycles but added: “I think there’s a great opportunity.”
“For all the congestion-busting abilities of motorcycles and the abilities to make electric bikes I think it’s a tremendous stimulus for the motorcycle industry,” Kenward predicts. “It’s a tremendous commercial trigger to push on with electric motorcycles.”
Motorcycles made before 2007 are already set to be hit by a £12.50 ($16.10 USD) daily pollution toll for entering London beginning in 2020.
India Becomes World’s Largest Motorcycle Manufacturer
India has dethroned China from a long reign as the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, having already overtaken China to become the largest domestic motorcycle market three years ago. The growth curve is continuing, as India’s growing domestic market and partnerships with English and European bike builders have put the country at the forefront of worldwide two-wheeled production.
While overall new motorcycle sales in the U.S. have been about 500,000 a year, and around 125,000 are sold in the United Kingdom, the total sales of machines made in India for the last financial year came to 17.6 million – more every three days than are sold in the UK in a year; more every 11 days than are sold annually in America.
Meanwhile, China’s domestic motorcycle market has been in decline for five years as government policy has incentivized electric bicycle sales and denied motorcycles access to city centers across China.
Conversely, the relentless growth of motorcycle sales in India is beginning to reshape the global marketplace. According to New Atlas, sales within India grew 6.9% last year, thanks to a fast-growing 1.32 billion domestic population that is quickly urbanizing and emerging from poverty — India has the fastest GDP growth of any major country. A massive India-wide road construction program is also fueling car and bike sales, just as it did in America a century ago.
Currently India’s domestic motorcycle marketplace is dominated by sub-125cc scooters and motorcycles, but larger capacity “luxury” classes are taking an increasing share as the market matures. Royal Enfield, built in India for the past 62 years, sold more than 700,000 motorcycles last year, a figure nearly equal to the combined worldwide sales of Harley-Davidson, KTM, BMW, Triumph, and Ducati, and their production target for this fiscal year is 900,000.
Millions Of Licensed Motorcyclists Don’t Ride
Nearly 8 million Americans have a motorcycle license, but don’t own a bike. These phantom riders, referred to as “Sleeping License Holders,” have come to the attention of motorcycle manufacturers seeking new customers as baby boomers age out of riding; wanting to wake them up.
Many of these ‘sleepers’ were active motorcyclists who had things happen in their life that caused them to quit riding: marriage, kids, financial pressures, a job that demands most of their time or simply a change in interests. Others completed rider training, got their license, but never bought a bike.
All of which has led Harley-Davidson, Indian and other bike makers to devise new marketing strategies.
Harley has set a goal of attracting 2 million new U.S. riders in the next decade and says it’s committed to introducing 100 new motorcycles over the next 10 years, including an electric bike, and that effort is expected to bring some sleeping license holders into bike ownership.
Indian Motorcycle Co. is also digging into why the sleepers aren’t taking that next step to become motorcycle owners. “I think, collectively as an industry, we need to answer that,” said Kevin Reilly, vice president of motorcycle marketing for Indian.
The median age of U.S. motorcyclists is about 45, according to a report in Cycle World magazine, with an overwhelming number of new bike buyers over the age of 50. Read More