What’s to blame for bike sales slowdown?
Sales of new motorcycles have stalled for the first time in a couple of years.
While we’re not talking big numbers – there were 301 fewer motorcycles sold in July 2016, compared to the same month in 2015, and overall sales for the year so far are still a healthy 5.8 per cent up, it will set a few alarm bells ringing as market experts scrabble around for a reason and a way of stopping a blip becoming a trend.
Even the Motorcycle Industry Association (the body made up of all the major manufacturers) have downgraded their estimate of new bikes sales for the year... a bit.
The hardest hit categories are mopeds and machines over 1000cc. The decline of the moped market is nothing new, but a slow-down of big bike sales suggests that cost could be an issue. With Brexit causing some uncertainty generally – we’ve seen the housing market stutter since the referendum – it could just be that consumer confidence is wavering while people wait to see how the economy reacts in the medium term. Which is a little ironic as many motorcycle industry insiders are predicting a rise in bike prices as manufacturers protect themselves against the weak pound. So if you’re planning to buy a new bike, now may not be a bad time. There will also be some redhot deals over the next few months as manufacturers and dealers try to clear the decks for a swathe of 2017 models that will hit the headlines when the first Euopean show opens its doors at the beginning of October. The market has benefitted recently from some very strong models and aggressive pricing – the CB500 and MT-09 range, for example. And the emergence of PCP in motorcycling has also helped boost new bike sales. Bike companies know how value sensitive the market is right now and will undoubtedly do everything to keep their prices competitive. There is also a raft of exciting new bikes waiting in the wings, according to MCN sources, so there is still a lot of positivity in the market and every chance sales will bounce back in the near future.