Data published by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) shows registrations declined 37.6% in January, with all categories recording a drop. Although now sold in relatively small numbers, the Touring sector suffered the most significant decline at 65.7%, while Trail/Enduro reduced the least at 9.4%. The recently popular Naked and Adventure Sports categories also suffered big drops, of 50.5% and 44.9% respectively.
Paul McDonald, Glass’s Leisure Vehicles Editor said, “Although registrations in January were disappointing, it was expected after the country was put into full lockdown on the 3rd of the month. With Lockdown-3 continuing into March, February’s registrations are also suffering. The main question the market is asking right now is whether there will be a bounce-back once dealers reopen.”
Engine band highest registered models – January 2021
|0-50cc||Vmoto SUPER SOCO CPX|
|126-650cc||KTM 300 EXC TPI|
|651-1000cc||Yamaha TENERE 700|
|Over 1000cc||BMW R1250 GS Adventure|
Data courtesy of the MCIA
New Motorcycle Market
Feedback regarding sales and demand in January was mixed but challenging for most dealers, largely a result of Lockdown-3. With Motorcycle Live in November 2020 cancelled, many dealers feel this has also hindered sales enquiries as consumers were unable to physically view 2021 models although some dealers are reporting stronger than normal order take ahead of March’s plate change.
Whilst demand is subdued, interest remains across the board with the Honda SH125 in strong demand and the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Triumph Tiger 900 and BMW R1250 GS Adventure continuing to be well received. Moving forward, the majority of dealers are cautiously optimistic the market will recover, once restrictions are eased.
What can the industry expect moving forward?
With dealer showrooms remaining closed, challenges are likely to continue. With Boris Johnson unveiling a plan to end English lockdown restrictions by 21 June and non-essential retail reopening from 12 April, there are positive signs for the market. However, this is past the usual point where market activity accelerates as spring arrives and longer warmer riding days beckon. The industry faces another uncertain year, however, following the pattern from 2020, dealers are hopeful that sales will surge later in the season.
Used Motorcycle Market
Recent feedback suggests that retail activity in January was challenging for most dealers, largely a result of Lockdown-3. However, some dealers believed trade was no worse than normal, with January typically quiet anyway.
Most dealers are offering online sales including ‘click and collect’ maintaining a trickle of used sales. However, consumers are still unable to view machines in showrooms and it is this that is discouraging their commitment to purchase. However, as with the new market, the majority of dealers are optimistic that the market will bounce back once Lockdown-3 ends.
Top Selling Models
Following trends from recent months, demand remains strong across all sectors, although scooters and commuter machines continue to lead the way. Demand for the Suzuki V-Strom 650 remains buoyant with Triumph Tigers also in strong demand. These machines have been popular choices for commuting purposes recently.
Stock availability remains a challenge for many dealers further hindering sales opportunities. At the auctions, activity remains fairly strong with residual values holding firm. There appears to be less trade to trade activity currently, as dealers hold on to what stock they have rather than trading it out into the market. Additionally, increasing private sales are also compounding the stock issues.
Following a cold January with snow and ice for some, February has started in a similar vein with poor riding conditions. However, considering that used stock availability is still difficult, and dealers will want healthy levels when Lockdown-3 ends, values have been held across the board in Glass’s March edition, except where trade feedback or evidence from the market indicated models required specific adjustments.