According to statistical data released by ANCMA, Italy's motorcycle industry reporting body, the total sales of motorcycles and scooters fell 24.17% compared to 2009. Even with multiple rounds of government cash incentives amounting €131M ($170M) on new purchases, and OEM discounting and financing deals affecting about 65% of sales, every month of last year revealed double-digit losses except January and February. December represented by far the worst, dropping 46.7%, compared to the same month in 2009.
The scooter market faired particularly badly, shrinking by 27.8% for machines over 50cc, year on year, to just over 213,000 units. Scooters and mopeds under 50cc dropped 13.9% to 85,921 units overall.
Motorcycles (classified by ANCMA as machines over 50cc and featuring a manual transmission) did better, with unit sales leveling out at 93,589 units, a drop of just over 14%. One sector that experienced significant growth were motorcycles over 1000cc, in particular the touring segment, which increased by 24%. Specific model sales data suggests that this is attributable to the surge on adventure touring models, lead by the BMW R1200GS, which has been in the top ten sales charts for years.
ANCMA president Corrado Capelli stated in a press release this week that "this is a sector very sensitive to incentive campaigns, and these years of difficulty in getting financing severely limits the ability to make new purchases." ANCMA believes that more action will be neccessary to rebuild confidence in the industry, if the negative slide is to be stopped.
Italy has long been the largest western market in the world, with peak years selling more that 450,000 units, including a large volume of high margin, large capacity models. The pressure from 6 consecutive quarters of double digit percentage sales losses has forced OEMs operating in the region to restructure, from high profile factory closures like Yamaha's Belgarda plant last year, to downscaling production and significant reduction in margins.