Motor Industry News
May 2012 Used Bike Market Editorial
A quick look at the new bike market gives an insight into what is happening in the two wheel market as a whole.
Overall sales are all but flat compared to last year although there are graphic changes in the sectors and these changes are very much reflected in the used market as well. Adventure Sports +39%, Scooter +16% and Unspecified +21% are the three style sectors which are recording growth figures for new bike sales in the first quarter.
The traditional volume market sectors of Sport and Super Sport continue to see a decline, along with Custom, Naked and Touring. This picture is also evident when looking at individual manufacturers. BMW have recorded one of their best starts to the year, along with KTM, whilst the big four Japanese brands continue to struggle for market share. Only Honda are keeping their head above water, largely due to their strength in model depth.
The big story surrounds the on-going growth in the Lexmoto and Pulse brands which currently represent almost 6% of the marketplace. The shortage of used stock to display in showrooms is really starting to be of concern. More than one dealer has commented that their used stock is unbalanced. The high-end high-value machines are there in desired numbers but the mid-range mid-value bikes, particularly in the £3000-5000 retail price bracket, have sold and are all but irreplaceable.
One dealer noted that some of his less desirable stock which may not be the tidiest or have higher than average use which would have been flexible on price at this time of year, now had showroom sticker prices which would stay high until a buyer is found. He saw little point in underselling a bike which he would struggle to replace later.
We have all known that this is happening and, with the important selling months of May, June and July ahead, have reflected the fact with a minor rise in values pretty much across the board. In truth retail values are still tempered by market forces and it is operating margins which will be increasingly squeezed going forward.
Let's hope that the sun shines enough to create some strong retail demand and the most can be made of any and all opportunities that are out there.
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
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