Motor Industry News
June 2012 Used Bike Market Editorial
With five months of the year now gone, the new bike market is running marginally ahead of last year with an increase of just under 2% YTD. As noted previously this is fuelled largely by the lightweight market at the expense of the more traditional big bike market. With this in mind it’s interesting to note that a quick snapshot of the statistics reveal that there are currently in the region of 76 different Chinese derived manufacturers who have recorded a registration against them during the past 5 months. Look back over a 12 or 18 month period and the number almost doubles.
Whilst there are a vast number of marques available on the market, many of these can be traced back to a single manufactured source. They can often have the same silhouette shape but with slightly different names and specification. It is a minefield for the uninitiated or for those not in regular contact with any particular brand. The number of machines involved both historically and going forward make it increasingly important for everyone to keep a closer eye upon what is available on the marketplace.
In response to this revelation, we have included an additional 20 manufacturer records to the database from this month and will continue to monitor the situation. There may be a sentiment that many of these bikes are of a throw-away nature, based on the low starting retail price. However as an example, a trader recently bought a 7 year old Chinese 125cc bike for £80 from an owner desperate for cash. This had been against his initial better instincts but he had quickly moved it on for £295! As he said, “That’s not a bad profit margin compared to what I can often return on an £11,000 Sports bike!” There may be questions about long-term reliability and possible warranty issues but generally parts supplies are pretty good these days and with the numbers involved then they cannot be ignored.
There was an overriding feeling that the used market had peaked slightly over recent weeks. We have not seen any particular easing of stock shortage but with the European financial market in turmoil, there were definitely fewer bids from overseas of late and this may adversely affect what has been a source of regular income for some dealers. There is without doubt still a desire to buy used stock, and retail demand is pretty strong, but this is still tempered by the fear of making the wrong decision. Most dealers and traders alike will bid strongly for the cream of offerings but anything less desirable in terms of condition and mileage is less popular. It has to be noted that an eye still has to be kept upon anything that looks like a profit opportunity - never mind the age or condition - as this may be the only option available.
It is too early to react to any perceived slow down at the moment. The better weather is finally with us and this will of course help to boost showroom traffic and demand. Consequently no real changes have been made to values beyond individual model adjustments.
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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