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Bike sales hit hard

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Published on 16 July 2017 by Robert Drane

Motorcycle sales have been hit hard in 2017 by a combination of overstocking, uncertainty over Brexit and the snap General Election, statistics released by the Motorcycle Industry Association have revealed.

Sales overall have sustained sharp double-digit falls per month compared with year-on-year statistics, but the pain isn’t being felt evenly across the entire market. The 51-125cc sector has been hit especially hard, with a massive 32.2% drop in sales and a drastic fall in registrations, while the 1,000cc+ sector has managed to defy the trend and scrape a 1.3% rise. Overall, sales were 14.1% down on the same time frame last year.

The consequences of the Brexit vote have shouldered much of the blame, with the post-vote hit to exchange rates causing imported bikes to become significantly more expensive. Uncertainty over the snap General Election only made the problem worse, with potential customers taking a wait-and-see approach and holding off on making major purchases. Finally, manufacturers and dealers pre-registering bikes ahead of the introduction of Euro 4 emissions standards saw the market flooded and supply significantly outpaced demand.

A statement from the Stephen Latham of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association noted that: “May and June are usually very buoyant months for the industry as the summer weather attracts bikers out onto the road. However, with the uncertainty of the General Election and concerns over Brexit, motorcycle sales look set to continue to decline further over the coming few months."