Sales of new motorcycles grew in the first four months of 2019 compared to last year, which was no doubt good news for the industry. However, according to the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), registrations stalled in May with totals finishing 0.5% behind 2018. June then experienced a more significant decline finishing 11.2% behind the same period last year.
Although disappointing, it is perhaps not surprising with recent developments within the political landscape. Paul McDonald, Glass’s Leisure Vehicles Editor said, “Since the UK voted to leave the EU on the 23rd June 2016, economic uncertainty has plagued the country. Whilst this is nothing new, following the UK’s failure to leave the EU on the 29th March, Prime Minister Teresa May has resigned and once a new PM is appointed, a general election could be imminent. Recent developments have therefore likely intensified consumer insecurities further.” Recent feedback from dealers suggests that overall demand for new machines is behind last year.
June 2019 Highlights
● Two out of nine categories recorded growth
● Trail/enduro enjoyed the most significant growth, albeit these are sold in small numbers.
● Mopeds continue to record a small increase
● Following a buoyant run, Adventure Sport and Naked categories experienced a decline in June
Hot YTD in June
● Honda PCX125 once again tops the table
● BMW R1250 GS was runner up
● Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin continues to sell well
● Royal Enfield Interceptor remains a success
What can the industry expect moving forward?
It will be interesting to see how registrations perform during the next few months. However, Glass’s view is that after a strong start to the year, new motorcycle sales growth is likely to be subdued for the next few months at least, especially in view of the peak holiday season arriving. That is not to say 2019 will be a poor year, with YTD registrations so far remaining ahead of 2018.
Most recent feedback from dealers continues to suggest that demand is stronger than last year, with the majority of subscribers reporting healthy used sales. Although the political landscape continues to be a concern for the industry, with the next few months difficult to predict, the used market remains buoyant for now. The recently introduced ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) is leading to an increase customer demand in London for newer, cleaner examples.
● Honda Africa Twins are a popular choice
● Yamaha MT range continues to be buoyant
● Triumph Tiger 800 is an impressive seller
● Quality 125cc machines are often in strong demand
The majority of dealers held the opinion that stock availability was broadly in line with last year. However, it remains difficult for some, particularly sourcing quality 125cc machines. Sports machines are also harder to locate with fewer used machines in the market, due to declining new sales over a number of years. However, it was not all bad news with some dealers managing availability with no issues finding the correct stock.
The majority of dealers were of the opinion that their stock levels were stronger than last year, so increased proactivity continues to have a positive effect. Most respondents stated stock levels were matching demand, good news for the peak selling season.
Riding conditions were generally poor in June despite a brief heatwave at the end of the month. July’s weather started on a better note with some reasonable riding conditions, particularly in the South of the country. With the holiday season fast approaching, the majority of dealers believe demand will level-off during the next month, which is typical for the time of year. In August’s edition of Glass data, the 1919 plates have been added and to reflect this and time of year, a modest ease has been applied across much of the guide, except where trade feedback or evidence from them market place has indicated other adjustments where necessary.