Italian motorcycle makers courting Chinese partners

Updated: 2011-05-23 12:44

By Yang Cheng and Huang Mengxin (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Struggling since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, some famed Italian motorcycle makers are now courting Chinese buyers, an Italian trade official said.

"A number of companies - often with a glorious history and brand, and with strong technological content - have not been able to cope with the market slump," said Enrico Condemi, deputy trade commissioner of the Beijing office of the Italian Trade Commission.

Motorcycle makers now for sale include Moto Morini, Malaguti and Verlicchi, he said, because they lack the needed cash and economies of scale to survive.

China is now the world's largest motorcycle producer and exporter.

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At a press conference for the upcoming EICMA China, a Sino-Italian motorcycle show scheduled for July 2 to 4, Condemi said bilateral trade in the sector is developing well, though the Italian industry has suffered from adverse market conditions since 2008 and now on its road of recovery.

EICMA is an abbreviation of Italian for the Milan International Motorcycle Show, which organizers say is the largest motorcycle industry show in the world.

Italy is the second-largest exporter of motorcycles to China, following the United States, with sales rebounding to $4.3 million last year.

Now holding its second session, EICMA China is one of the largest shows in the sector in China and "poised to become Asia's largest", according to organizers.

This year, it will have a total exhibition area of 28,000 square meters at the National Convention Center in Beijing, where 122 domestic and foreign companies will show their bikes and products.

China exported 2.23 million motorcycles worth of 1.5 billion yuan in the first quarter this year, according to Wang Min, secretary general of the China Motorcycle Industry Association.

As well, exports of parts and engines grew by double digits during the period.


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