Following a significant downturn in motorcycle registrations in June, July made a modest recovery. According to the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), registrations once again suffered a decline in August, being 8.2% behind August 2018. For the industry, this is no doubt disappointing; however, taking into account difficult economic conditions and Brexit drawing closer, it is not much of a surprise. Paul McDonald, Glass’s Leisure Vehicles Editor said, “The UK has recently appointed a new Prime Minister, there is significant uncertainty surrounding Brexit with talk of a snap election only subduing consumer confidence further”.
Dealer sentiment suggests demand for new machines is reducing with lower showroom footfall, although August year-to-date (YTD) registrations are actually 2% ahead of 2018.
August 2019 Highlights
- Three out of nine categories recorded growth
- Trail/Enduro recorded the largest increase at 22%, albeit these are sold in small numbers
- Mopeds continue to give a stronger performance
- Adventure Sports recorded a modest upturn in August
Hot YTD in August
- Honda PCX125 remains top of the table
- BMW R1250 GS was runner up, continuing success from the outgoing R1200
- Kawasaki Z1000SX continues its strong performance
- Yamaha MT-07 ABS retains its success
What can the industry expect moving forward?
In view of the political backdrop, registration performance during the next few months will likely depend on the outcome of Brexit. Glass’s view is that registrations will remain subdued for the remainder of the year and into the first half of 2020. If the UK exits the EU at the end of October, with or without a deal, it will still take time for consumer confidence to recover whilst the real possibility of a General Election will be a further hindrance.
This month, dealer feedback suggests demand is broadly in line with last year. Despite declining consumer confidence, the used motorcycle market continues to be healthier than the new market.
- Triumph Tiger 800 is a strong performer
- Kawasaki Z1000SX continues its success
- BMW R1200 GS Adventure remains buoyant
- Strong demand for quality 125cc machines
August continued the theme of recent months with the majority of dealers finding stock availability broadly in line with last year. Dealers are finding in demand models of the Triumph Bonneville and Yamaha MT ranges are difficult to locate. In view of these machines making popular new choices, reduced consumer spending is encouraging dealers to search for used examples. This is starting to reduce availability of the most sought after models as dealers quickly snap up quality examples from the market.
Despite this, most dealers report stock levels to be stronger than last year and correct for forecast demand, indicating the increased proactivity continues to have a positive effect.
Riding conditions throughout the summer have been largely changeable following the annual summer deluge of rain followed by boiling sunshine. With the peak holiday season over, dealer opinion suggests September’s demand will remain level. However, at this time of the year, it is ever more weather dependent and many dealers are cautious in view of the political backdrop. Considering this, for October’s data, the Glass’s team are applying a modest easing of values across the guide, except where trade feedback or evidence from the market place indicates further adjustments are necessary.