Surviving the 2016 pre-buy quake

PSR Analysis: Registrations of motorcycles and mopeds in the EU reached 254,487 units during Q1 2017, dropping 3.3% compared to Q1 2016, according to the latest figures released by the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM).

While France, and Italy performed positively (+3.35% and + 1.11% respectively) all the other major markets were down: Germany -6%, Spain -9% and the UK -15%.

Overall, motorcycles sales declined for the quarter (-6% compared to Q1 2016), while moped registrations increased by 6% in the same period. Moreover, registrations of electric vehicles grew significantly, reaching 5,447 units in Q1 2017 (+32% vs Q1 2016)

These results don't come as a surprise. 2016 was a very positive year, driven by the transition from Euro 3 to Euro 4 regulations. Many consumers decided to buy Euro 3 models at favorable prices during their last year of existence. Antonio Perlot, secretary general of ACEM, confirmed this trend. PSR disclosed to its subscribers this trend at the begining of the year.

During the remainder of 2017, we expect registrations to continue to remain slightly negative compared to last year. According to data PSR gathered from the five major European markets, this trend, in fact, has continued in April, hit by a very negative performance of the German market: Only 10,832 vehicles above 50cc were registered (-37% vs April 2016). The other four large markets posted April numbers almost identical to Q1 2017.

 

Farm Machinery Sales Set To Rebound

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PSR Analysis: For the past three years, sales of farm machinery have been in a slump. This softness is primarily due to weaknesses in France and Germany, which are the two largest European markets, low commodity prices and sub-par growing seasons. This being said, there are some trends that have been identified that suggest 2017 is going to see sales bouncing back, despite a slow start this year.

John Deere and AGCO, as well as other manufacturers, have reported sales in the European Union at their highest level this month since 2012/13. These are fuelled by demand growing in Germany as well as expected growth in Britain and Spain. Furthermore, the demand for small tractors has been supported heavily by the olive and wine growing sectors, which are set to continue to perform well. Parts suppliers also are reporting notably healthy orders and CEMA has recorded a 5-year high business mood sentiment in its monthly barometer. All of these are good indicators towards a higher, better, industry activity. Alongside some optimism for the year to come.

However, European farm machinery is still not out of the woods; sales of tractors fell by 1.3% in the Q1 2017, compared to 2016. France remains a question mark; it suffered the worst grain harvest in three decades last year. In 2016, sales fell by 8%, which is very likely to be repeated this year. PSR