Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spain might lower driving age to help promote scooter sales

Hot off the newswires is the fact that certain regions in Spain are considering lowering the driving age of a scooter all the way to 14 years of age. A little crazy since at 14, I still thought I could grow up and build myself a spacesuit. Maybe Americans aren't as mature as Europeans or something, but I think keeping it at 15 or 16 is just fine. You can't google teenage death without reading about some tragic accident in Italy or Spain where a 18 year old decides to race a scooter on a highway. Doesn't matter if its a car or a motorcycle people do stupid things, but lowering the age to 14 might be a little much. I mean where do you draw the line?

The real issue here is the One-point-three billion people in China which is the world's largest two-wheel marketplace and factory at the moment. It's flood of inexpensive units plus a recession destroyed the Spanish marketplace. To the point where even importers like CF MOTO Spain closed two years ago leaving hundreds of dealers without parts after spending a record amount of money on marketing and building up the marketplace. 

There are still a ton of small OEMs in Spain including MH, Rieju, Gas Gas, Ossa, Sherco, Volta Motorbikes, Motorbikes Alfer and Xispa, plus aftermarket companies like Turbo Kit, Italkit, Technigas and more that still depend on scooters for the majority of their sales. Everything is interconnected. 84% of the motorcycles are produced in the region of Catalunia including Yamaha Spain, the area produced about 60,000 motorcycle units counting both dirtbikes and scooters.

Spain's congress is taking immediate action this week to halt the closure of the Derbi factory in Spain. So let's see what happens. It would be a shame for Spaniards to loose the iconic brand. Basically Derbi would continue as a "brand" without a factory being made anywhere in the world.

No comments: