All-ter­rains gain ’n’ reign

The bikes are still big busi­ness, writes CRAIG DUFF

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Bikes -

MO­TOR­CY­CLE sales have not slowed — 30,460 ma­chines were bought in a record first quar­ter for the in­dus­try.

And road bikes, led by cruis­ers, out­sold of­froad ma­chin­ery for the first time in years — 11,580 sales against 10,678.

The mar­ket has grown about 70 per cent in the past five years. Last year, 129,966 bikes were sold.

This quar­ter’s fig­ures are up 5 per cent on the same time last year, de­spite a tighter econ­omy.

‘‘We are cau­tiously op­ti­mistic sales will re­main buoy­ant, de­spite the cur­rent un­cer­tain­ties in the broader eco­nomic out­look,’’ Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries chief ex­ec­u­tive Ray McKel­lar says.

Honda mo­tor­cy­cles gen­eral man­ager Tony Hin­ton agrees, though he notes re­cent in­ter­est-rate rises have had an ef­fect.

‘‘There is some damp­en­ing of de­mand, but we’re bullish about the over­all mar­ket,’’ Hin­ton says.

All-ter­rain ve­hi­cles were the sin­gle big­gest growth seg­ment. Sales rose 15.2 per cent to 4386 ma­chines.

The FCAI at­tributes the rise to the drought eas­ing in north­ern states.

Scooter sales fell 3.4 per cent. Pi­ag­gio led the mar­ket with 15.2 per cent of sales.

Honda was the top seller over­all to the end of March with 22.6 per cent of the mar­ket ahead of Yamaha on 22.3 per cent, Suzuki 12.1 per cent and Kawasaki 8.2 per cent.

STILL SCOOT­ING

BOL­WELL Scoota will op­er­ate as Se­lect Scootas af­ter the Black fam­ily bought out Bol­well’s stake.

Se­lect will con­tinue to sell the Sym, Pgo, E-Cy­cle and Eureka Scootas range and will re­tain its man­age­ment and staffing struc­ture.

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