The passion for motorcycling is unbroken!

Interview with Peter Boschmann, CEO of Motea GmbH

Peter Boschmann, CEO of Motea GmbH
Peter Boschmann, CEO of Motea GmbH

The high inflation rates and the multi-crises of recent years are pressing down the general consumer mood. In the face of these problematic macroeconomic conditions, however, the motorcycle market has proven to be extremely resilient. Peter Boschmann, CEO of Motea GmbH, a specialized online retailer for motorcycle accessories, discussed the reasons for this phenomenon and current market trends with Wirtschaftsforum.

Economic Forum: Mr. Boschmann, Motea GmbH is one of the largest B2C suppliers for motorcycle parts and accessories, with over 30,000 different items. What is the current market situation in light of the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and high inflation?

Peter Boschmann: Just a look at the new registration rates across Europe reveals that the motorcycle market has grown significantly over the last 15 years – with a plus of over 20% alone in 2023. Our industry has thus proven to be quite resilient to crises – as have many other hobby segments – primarily due to a consumer clientele who dedicates themselves to their beloved motorcycles with great passion and naturally requires accordingly high-quality accessories. Thus, during the COVID-19 crisis, we were even able to notice a slightly increased demand since many households now had budgets previously reserved for vacation trips available for another hobby: in the case of our customers, for motorcycles.

Motea Storage Area
The company distributes over 30,000 different items
Motea High-bay Warehouse
View of a high-bay warehouse: Customers are unlikely to find a similarly comprehensive range in brick-and-mortar specialty stores

Economic Forum: Motorcycles as particularly emotional products are predestined for brick-and-mortar retail. Shouldn't the same assumption then also apply to corresponding accessories – and where can e-commerce score points in this respect?

Peter Boschmann: Broadly speaking, our market behaves very similarly to other sectors: 20 years ago, the belief was still widespread for many products that one had to see and touch them in a store and also engage in a consultation discussion on-site. This is indeed true for many products, but certainly not for all. Moreover, the dealer network is becoming increasingly sparse in the market for motorcycle accessories, and the presence of retail stores is on the decline. Keeping a wide range of different products in stock represents a much bigger challenge for a brick-and-mortar store than for an online shop. For the motorcycle itself and for corresponding clothing items, the direct haptic component, which can only be experienced in store, will certainly continue to play an important role, but we do not distribute such products at all. At the center of our product portfolio, however, are bags, workshop stands, and attachments that can be very comfortably and efficiently acquired in the context of e-commerce.

Economic Forum: In the automotive, passenger, and heavy-duty transport sectors, electrification is increasingly becoming the center of attention. Is this also a perspective for the motorcycle segment – and what consequences would this have for Motea?

Peter Boschmann: Since we do not sell motorcycles or engines, it is only important for us that the topic of motorcycles in general does not lose interest and passion – and that would not be expected even in the context of such a development, which I find rather unlikely in the coming years anyway. While there are indeed drivable motorcycles on the market with a displacement of 125 cc and electric drive due to the high prices and the limited range, this is by no means yet a mass phenomenon like in the automotive segment, which considering the currently required battery sizes is not really conceivable in the coming years either. Moreover: bags and fittings are things that the inclined riders will still want to have – they should just never lose the joy of the motorcycle as an emotional product.

Motea - new company premises in Meinerzhagen
Motea recently moved to a new company premises in Meinerzhagen

Economic Forum: What changes has the market undergone in light of the rapidly increasing number of new registrations in recent years?

Peter Boschmann: The types of motorcycles have changed quite significantly in the last 20 years: Back then, the market was heavily dominated by sports motorcycles. Similar to the increase of SUVs in the automotive sector, today it is rather motorcycles that can also be driven well off-road that dominate. Along with this, there has been a slight shift in focus regarding accessories. At the same time, motorcycling as a leisure activity is now competing with many digital alternatives that did not exist 20 years ago. Nevertheless, many young people are still excited to get their licenses and look forward to their new hobby. So, our market is still ensured of newcomers.

Economic Forum: And what do the coming years hold for Motea?

Peter Boschmann: Recently, we moved to a new operational site in Meinerzhagen to further intensively pursue our ambitious growth goals. We see a lot of potential in the USA and Eastern Europe, which we want to pay more attention to in the coming years.