The global motorcycle industry has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus outbreak. In Europe, brands like Ducati, KTM, BMW and MV Agusta have all halted production in the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak. A few European motorcycle brands are citing supply chain slowdowns and retail shutdowns, in order to justify delaying the Euro 5 emission standards by as much as six months, or upto even a year. From January 1, 2021, every new motorcycle sold in the European Union will have to comply with the Euro 5 regulations.
The European motorcycle industry association, ACEM, is working on possible solutions, but has also appealed for an extension of the Euro 5 deadline. The ACEM has reportedly started pushing the EU to postpone the final adoption date of Euro 5 by a full 12 months, giving manufacturers, as well as dealers, another year to clear stock of Euro 4 models and prepare their Euro 5 successors. In a statement, the ACEM said that it has pushed for the delay in the deadline.
"The ongoing pandemic o 5 models. This disruption, in addition to virus containment measures taken in factories, has led to a near complete standstill of the industry in many countries. The recent lock-down and stringent measures to contain the pandemic have also paralyzed motorcycle retail business activity. This is progressively affecting all European markets, creating unsettling uncertainties for the motorcycle sector. The COVID-19 crisis is placing dealerships, most of which are small family-run operations, under extreme financial hardship. Immediate cashflow concerns will need to be addressed through support measures in every impacted country.
"Against this background, the motorcycle industry urgently calls on the European Commission and national administrations to swiftly adopt all necessary measures to help the sector come through this unprecedented crisis. The motorcycle sector is ready to work with all policy makers to achieve this aim, protecting the 300,000 jobs linked to this industry."
Unlike the BS6 regulations in India, in Europe, manufacturers have been given a lot of time, with the deadlines chalked out well in advance, with the final implementation laid out in 2013. But now it seems that a lot of modern motorcycles have yet to be approved to meet the Euro 5 standards. Some of those motorcycles will need minor updates, but others will need to be completely revamped, and in the current situation it appears to be difficult that these models will be allowed to be sold after December 31, 2020.
Many current motorcycle models, across brands like Ducati, BMW, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki still don't meet the Euro 5 regulations, although some are described as "Euro 5-ready", meaning they will still need to go through final testing to get the Euro 5 certification. What is clear is that the motorcycle industry across the world will be under pressure, even if, and when, the world moves out of the coronavirus pandemic. So far, it's still not clear how the European Union will react to pressure to delay the introduction of Euro 5. Either way, the industry will be under pressure, and will take several months to make a turnaround, that is certain.