With the official declaration of the World Health Organization that the new corona virus outbreak known as COVID-19 is a global pandemic, and the suspension of mobility in almost the entire planet, at present, a large number of motorcycle brands find themselves closing their doors momentarily, as well as canceling sponsorship, races and specific events for these days.
One of the brands that made the decision to close its factories is the well-known Harley Davidson, this decision was made on March 18 to protect the health of its workers, distributors and customers. In this time of shutdown, they will carry out cleaning and disinfection works at their factories located in York (Pennsylvania), Wisconsin and Pilgrim, this having a confirmed case of COVID-19 of one of their employees at the Pilgrim facilities.
According to the statements of the CEO and Acting President of Harley-Davidson, Jochen Zeitz:
"We recognize the unprecedented nature of this global crisis. In order to better support our employees and by following the social distancing guide issued by public health authorities, we are temporarily suspending most of our production."
Another brand affected by the pandemic we are experiencing is Ducati, which will keep its doors closed until March 25 at least.
In this case it suffers a severe blow, not only due to the sales stoppage that this year was catapulting for motorcycles in Europe, but also due to the curfew that is registered both in Italy, France, Spain and other parts of the world affecting direct sales.
This means a serious blow to the MotoGP championship for Ducati and other brands that have distributors in Europe since, for their part, their Japanese competitors such as Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha are conducting tests at closed positions on their private tracks.
This means an advance of its competitors in terms of development for their teams, taking into account that the first 4 races of the year were canceled and the impossibility of conducting any test by Ducati, Honda is the team most advantageous for this situation.
Taking into account that the next race will be held in Jerez, we will have a very different reality than the preseason for these brands.
The one that seems to be the most affected by the corona virus seems to be Aprillia, as we know in its latest tests, its results were quite favorable, unfortunately having to paralyze its developments, this brand is in serious problems, Ducati has the great advantage of the experience of other years and accumulated knowledge but Aprillia has remained at the bottom of the table and with this suspension of activities and its rivals taking a big step forward.
Some brands wonder why the MotoGP organization does not block the activities of the factories so that the difference is not so great.
For its part we find the Pierer Mobility AG Group, owner of KTM, GasGas and Husqvarna, they are in a better position than other brands since they are based in Austria, they closed their doors from March 30 to April 10. This means an advantage in sales since the production stoppage will be minimal compared to their counterparts.
Another strongly hit brand is Yamaha, since having factories located in both Italy and France, they are forced to temporarily suspend their production and, to review the possibility of opening or not opening their facilities until mid-April.
As we can see, due to the Corona virus pandemic, the developments of motorcycles are paralyzed, taking into account that in this year alone in Spain almost 200,000 units were sold until the moment of the stoppage of activities, this is a huge blow to factories, not only having to suspend production, but also stopping any surprises or new models until further notice such as the case of the GasGas brand that was close to relaunching as a brand, this means that we probably have to wait until the next year for updates planned by manufacturers for this year.
At Ecuador Bike Rental, we adhere to the policies adopted by the government in regards to mobilization. It dictates that for 14 days starting on March 15th, everyone in the country needs to be in their homes quarantined, and that Ecuadorian borders Will open on April 6th for all inbound. Until then, our Operations Will be stopped. We Will resume our normal schedule right away after that date. We encourage you to keep calm during these times and wish you the best for you and your beloved ones, so to see you soon riding with us in Ecuador in the near future.