Data published by the motorcycle industry association (MCIA) shows registrations in October grew significantly, up 23.9% versus last year. Six out of nine bike categories recorded growth with mopeds once again enjoying the greatest increase with adventure sports recording the second strongest growth, followed by scooters.
Glass’s Leisure Vehicles Editor Paul McDonald said, “After more modest growth in September, it was great to see a significant increase in registrations again in October. It’s going to be interesting to see how the market performs during the final month of 2020. However, with England in Lockdown-2 and enhanced restrictions elsewhere in the UK, registrations in November are stalling.”
Engine band highest registered models – October 2020
New motorcycle market
Sales and demand are slowing as is expected at this time of year with little sign of a substantial decline. New stock supply from factories is still an issue for some dealers. However, consumers appear to be prepared to wait for the stock to arrive with some lead times stretching towards the end of quarter one next year. Scooters and 125cc machines remain a popular choice for commuters in the wake of COVID-19, but demand is generally strong across the board.
What can the industry expect moving forward?
At the time of writing, England is in Lockdown-2, although the industry is hopeful that restrictions will ease in December with the market looking forward to the 2021 season. Sales and demand could be affected in the run-up to Christmas, however November and December are typically a quieter time for dealers. Therefore, Lockdown-2 is unlikely to have as big an impact on registrations compared to Lockdown-1 which coincided with the peak demand season. With uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 continuing, consumer confidence continues to be at risk which is a concern for the industry.
Used motorcycle market
Mirroring demand in the new market, dealer feedback suggests that used motorcycle sales activity is also slowing with a specific demand for certain machines. Following the pattern from recent months, scooters and 125cc machines remain popular, particularly among commuters. With additional demand from takeaways offering delivery as smaller engine machines are a popular choice for this activity. In other sectors, demand continues to be evenly spread, with hobbyist riders swelling demand with a new pastime not hindered by social distancing.
Opinions regarding stock continue to be mixed with some dealers finding quality stock a challenge and are travelling far and wide, whilst other dealers are satisfied with supply and do not want to be overstocked going into the winter months. There is some speculation that if the pound weakens, the country could see more European buyers snap up quality used stock following the precedent set during the 2009-2011 recession which would further hinder stock supply.
Despite sales and demand declining, there was little sign of a significant reduction, which is positive. However, taking into account the time of year and increased uncertainty, after careful consideration, many values have been eased back for the December guide, except where trade feedback and evidence from the market place has suggested further adjustments. Exceptions to this are mopeds, scooters, commuters, smaller engine machines and off-roaders where values have been held.