The period and the emergency we are living through are sure to leave their mark both socially and economically. There are a number of measures that are being considered for revival in the post-emergency period, but in this context the two-wheel sector seems not to be the centre of attention. The president of Confindustria ANCMA has entered the field with an open letter to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, to remind him of the importance of the sector and the characteristics that will not allow him, next autumn and winter, to even partially recover what is being lost now. Here is the full text of the letter, which also launches the hashtag: #USALEDUERUOTE (use two wheels).
"Dear Mr. President,
In this period of widespread concern, in which we are all called upon for the sense of responsibility, the ability to put the interests of the community before those of the individual, but also for the willpower that our country has always shown to possess in the darkest periods of its past, we appeal to you to ensure that our industrial sector - that of pedal and engine power on two wheels and related components - is not forgotten by the institutions.
Our country is a leader in Europe in the production of mopeds and motorcycles (320,000 units corresponding to 45% of European production) and bicycles (2,600,000 units, 18% at European level, first exporter in Europe), and is the country that boasts the largest number of two-wheeled vehicles in circulation in the continent, with approximately 8 million users.
Our companies generate a turnover of five billion euros and employ 60,000 people. I am also pleased to describe the reasons that keep us awake at night and encourage us to turn to you. The bicycle and motorcycle markets have seasonal characteristics: most of the sales are concentrated in the spring / summer period: the lockdown of commercial businesses coincides, for us, with the beginning of the sales peak. Unlike other industrial and commercial sectors, the two-wheel industry will not have the possibility of recovering, in the autumn / winter season, the volumes lost in these months, with very heavy repercussions on the stability of the system.
The sales network of the two-wheel sector, which has about 5,000 stores in Italy, is made up of small operators, micro-enterprises, often family-run, without the financial structure that allows them to survive a long period of inactivity but with the characteristics suitable for applying all the prevention measures against contagion. For these reasons our companies are waiting - as soon as health conditions allow - to resume activity.
Please allow me also to note that the use of two-wheeled vehicles offers a form of individual mobility that meets the needs of social distancing, safeguards environmental sustainability and - in the case of the bicycle - a proven increase in metabolism and immunological defence.
One final consideration on the role that two wheels have always played within the mobility system: a reduction of travel time, less occupation of the public parking space, reduction of traffic and pollution levels, low usage costs. These are the values that respond to the great challenges of contemporary mobility and make this industry, the entrepreneurs who guide it and the many men and women who work there an indispensable resource for the future of our country.
Thanks for your attention and, never like today, keep up the good work!"