France. May sales down only 15% improving the 2020 market outlook

French Motorcycles
French Motorcycles

French Motorcycles Market reacted to the crisis in May, performing well-ahead Observers expectations and losing only 15% from the previous year, thanks to the existing orders portfolio. The outlook improved from one month ago and the full year volume is projected at 245.000 with a full recovery in the 2021.

Motorcycles Market Trend

The recent years positive pathway was still place in france at the end of February. Year to Date February sales were 40.463, up 9.8%.

Unfortunately the risk correlated to the development of Covid19 in the country has been underestimated by the government and first measures had been taken only in Mid-March a bit lately to avoid a vast contagious spread over the country.

Motorcycles plants and dealership have been shutdown from the last weak of March to the first week of May.

In March sales fell down above expectations with 14.179 sales (-52.2%) ending the first quarter with 54.650 units, down 17.8%. 

The second quarter will be memorable. Unfortunately sales in April, with all plants and dealers closed, were only 5.340 units (-82.6%).

Sales in May above expectations

In May sales have been encouraging and a much better than expected reaching 26.619 units with only 15.3% of lost from the correspondent month last year. The reasons behind this so good performance are related to the orders portfolio available before the shutdown.

The different stock available in the network made the difference when looking at single brand performance. For instance, Yamaha, the market leader kept 12.4% of market share (-0.4 point vs May 2019) doing much better than Honda, fall at 10.0% (-1.8 points vs May 2019).

Among scooter specialists, the two leader Piaggio and Peugeot improved market share respectively by 1.5 points and 0.8 points, even because the scooter segment performed better than the motorcycles segment.

BMW reported more sales in this May than the year before!

Market Outlook 2020-2025 improved from the previous month

The reactiveness of French government to the Covid19 economic impact was outstanding and the country is working with huge sustain in the “new normality”. In the automotive industry, the Government is focused on sustaining the car sector, in which it is heavy involved. However, the demand for a more individual mobility and the increased offer of more performing electric scooter will speed up the recovery within our industry.

In the Beyond Covid19 project, we are revising on monthly basis and sharing with our Clients the 2020-2025 motorcycles market outlook and are glad to see this outlook improved now from last month, with full year 2020 projection at 245.000 units, down 20.3% from the previous year.

The 2021 will allow the market to be back at pre-covid level, despite the effects of stage 5 emission level (due in January 2021), while consumer’s demand will change the mix within the market, accelerating trends in place before the virus and showing new trends.

French Motorcycles

In 2019, Peugeot was outstanding in a fast growing market

Since years French market is the largest in  Europe. In the 2019 France was ahead of  Italy, Spain, Germany and Turkey while at Global level the market is only the 20th, ahead of Italy and behind Peru (19th), Nigeria (18th) and Japan (17th).

In the period 2017-2018 the market was affected by the introduction of new European limits for emissions, which has been  the main reason for the last year decline is in the new European emission regulation, the stage euro 4, introduced in January 2018, forcing the manufacturer to register with the end of December all euro 3 models is stock. The effect for a bulk of self-registrations in the Q4 2017 which pushed the year at the best level of this decade, 285.027 units, heavily penalizing the first half 2018 figures, with 2018 figures declining at 266.656 (-6.4%).

According to data released by the French Minister of Transportations, in the 2019 the demand for two-wheeler vehicles was outstanding with sales boomed 15.7% at 308.422, the highest level since 2012.

The 50cc scooter segment reported the strongest increase, up 24.9% and represents today the 28.2% of the market, while scooter over 50cc segment increased 5.9% and Motorcycles segment 11.7%, representing the 41.7% of the total.

Looking at the mode versions, the fastest growing segment is the Supermoto (+115%) followed by the Touring (+20.5%) and the Street (+16.6%).

The electric vehicles segment is fast growing and in the 2019 hit the all time record with 16.962 units, up 35%, representing the 5.5% mix on total market.

French Motorcycles

Competitive Arena

The French market is really fragmented with 388 different brands which have registered at least one model in the 2019.

The leader is Yamaha with 34.632 sales in the year (+2.8%), holding 11.3% of market share. Not far and very determined to get the leadership there is Honda with 33.022 sales (+14.8%) and with 10.8% of market share.

In third place Piaggio, leader among the scooter specialist, with 26.260 sales (+3.1%) ahead of Peugeot which scored an outstanding year with 20.552 sales (+40.7%) and with one of the best growing performance of the year.

In fifth place BMW, leader in the premium brand segment, with 17.574 units (+12.3%) overtaking Kawasaki, sixth with 14.024 units (+15.0%). In seventh place Kymco with 9.537 units (+5.5%) followed by Sym with 9.204 (+21.4%) and Harley-Davidson with 9.088 (-0.6%).

Among the fastest growing brands there are Aprilia (+59%) and the Chinese electric maker NIU (+242%).