Stalling motorcycle registrations in May coupled with a significant downturn in June comes as a disappointment following a stronger start to the year. Unfortunately, the decline is not a major surprise in view UK political developments, with the UK failing to leave the EU and another change of Prime Minister.
Moving forward to July and the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) recorded total registrations showing modest recovery at 4.1% ahead of July 2018. Although better news for the industry, total registrations in July 2018 were 2.2% behind those in 2017, which in turn were 12% behind 2016.
Some of the improvement this year is a result of increased moped sales. This segment continues their recent growth, with registrations 29.6% ahead of last year. Analysis of market dynamics suggests some of this growth is a result of food delivery companies such as Uber Eats creating demand for high volumes of these machines for business use, rather than an influx of new younger riders into the market. Also good news in July was the resumption of growth in the Adventure Sports and Naked segments.
Recent dealer feedback shows mixed outlooks in the market with a slight bias towards equal sales for the full year. This continues to indicate an erratic market likely to witness further turmoil as we enter September and Q4 2019.
With the political backdrop and economic uncertainty intensifying as the UK prepares once again to leave the EU, this time at the end of October, Glass’s view is that total registrations for 2019 are likely to finish similar to 2018, a year that recorded growth of just 0.5% over 2017, which itself was 18% behind 2016.
As always in the motorcycle market, there is continuing interest in each of the segments with new model launches coupled to dealer offers designed to create demand. Over the coming months, the Glass’s team will continue to monitor the whole market and report changes as they happen.