Motor Industry News
March 2012 Used Bike Market Editorial
Following a relatively bright start to the year February proved to be a little more difficult with demand changing as much as the weather conditions. Some dealers report good levels of enquiries although few had any significant pre-order levels for the new 12 plate.
As in previous years, the real picture in terms of new plate sales will not be clear until the end of the month, rather than the turn of the month. Against the backdrop of another high profile dealer closure last month it is becoming an increasingly difficult market in which to operate.
More dealers are questioning the viability of a new bike franchise with the equation of outlay to actual return on profit based on the volume level no longer adding up. Consequently more are looking to the growing Chinese lightweight new market which has a low outlay to good profit margins and focusing ever more on the used market. This should naturally see an increase in used values but whilst demand for stock is there it is an increasingly complex picture.
All accept that there is a real shortage of good, clean, low to average mileage stock; however this is tempered by a fear of over-committing. Consequently whilst values remain firm pretty much across the board, any real increase is yet to be seen due to caution in trade bids.
The closure of George White last month saw the disposal of 76 used bikes at auction by Close Consumer Finance. The auction attracted a who's who of the UK marketplace, and sale prices were stronger than expected. Rarely does the two wheel market get the opportunity to buy good, clean, showroom condition used-stock at auction in any number. Whilst there was an element of curiosity on the behalf of some dealers present, others were there to buy whatever and this was clearly reflected in hammer prices. Talk was also aimed towards the continued migration of our cream used-bike stock to the European market.
This may be providing a lucrative financial return for those concerned but it is clearly going to bite us all in the short rather than long term. In terms of identifying trends or any outstanding changes, it can only be reported that the less mainstream models still provide the best opportunity with late-plate volume models such as R1 and GSX-R models proving to be the most volatile, based on new model pricing and discount levels.
Surprisingly, whilst the Sports 600 market has seen a continued decline in popularity, this has brought about a shortage of used examples and provided they are exceptionally clean standard models, then they can prove to be really good news.
This month, only minor individual changes have been made to this month's values. As explained it is a fairly volatile marketplace and this picture may change rapidly once demand increases beyond the availability of replacing showroom stock.
VIPDATA is part of CDL Vehicle Information Services Ltd (CDL VIS) the vehicle data arm of CDL Group Holdings Ltd, based in Stockport, Cheshire. www.cdl.co.uk
Contact the CDL VIPDATA valuation team;