Get Real – Framework Regulations

Right To Ride considers that the latest statements from ACEM, (the Motorcycle Industry in Europe) have called on the EC to “Get Real” on the time scale for the implementation of new type-approval regulations of L-category vehicles (motorcycles, scooters, tricycles, on-road quads and mini-cars).

From the evidence given at the public hearing in Brussels at the European Parliament during the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) meeting on Tuesday 22nd March 2011, ACEM indicated that motorcyclists will face an increase of costs if the present introduction of the Framework regulation does not change.

ACEM said:

  • Only an unbiased understanding of the time frame required by the industry to develop a new product from the concept research phase to the actual launch on the market will avoid an unnecessary increase of costs while ensuring employment and the competitiveness of the sector in Europe.
  • According to an estimate performed by ACEM the application of the new environmental, safety and administrative provisions will lead to a cost increase between +5% and +10% for the high end of the market (motorcycles above 750cc) and up to +30% for the low end of the market (motorcycles under 300cc). This rise is disproportionate and risks limiting consumer purchasing propensity, leading to a more ageing fleet, with adverse effects on environment and safety, as well as industry, employment and society. In terms of volumes, small and medium displacement motorcycles account for more than 80% of EU registrations. Vehicles under 300cc represent two thirds of EU registrations.  Most of them are urban commuters (scooter style represents more than half of the whole EU PTW market, in terms of units).
  • The potential economies of scale valid for the automobile sector do not apply to motorcycle manufacturers due to smaller series and a high variety of models. Furthermore motorcycle manufacturers benefit from lower negotiation margins with suppliers than car manufacturers. In the current economic context, the provisions are extremely challenging. This regulation falls during a critical time for the motorcycle industry. The economic crisis triggered a drop in registrations of L-category vehicles. In 2010 the EU market has shrunk by -25% compared to pre-crisis figures. A quarter of a million units were lost every year since 2008, and for 2011 there are no signs of recovery.

While we recognise that ACEM must protect the manufacturing industry and its competitiveness in Europe, ACEM has underlined “….the utmost importance of the progressive introduction of environmental and safety measures allowing for sufficient lead-time, for new and existing types. This is particularly important given the price impact that the proposed legislative package will have, especially for small and medium displacement vehicles.”

In plain speak, we as motorcyclists, could face an increase of cost to purchase a new motorcycle when the regulation is introduced (up to 10% for the bigger motorcycles and to 30% for smaller motorcycles and scooters).

However the debate and legislative process continues with further meetings in April and the publication of a full report from the IMCO committee, which we believe will mean more “sucking of cheeks” as the IMCO and Commission continue to debate the future of motorcycling.

We will have a full report on the IMCO committee meeting and are studying ACEM’s revised position document.

View ACEM’s revised position on the EC “Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Regulation N. 542/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles – pdf – Click Here

(NB in the revised position ACEM states that “ACEM regrets that its proposal to integrate the industry commitment on advanced braking systems has not been retained by the EC and observes that this valuable industry commitment still represents a useful “bridge” towards the mandatory application of advanced braking systems on motorcycles”) in other words, ACEM did not want mandatory ABS.

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