Motor Industry News
The overall sentiment to explain the market at the moment is to report a neutral position. That is to say that there is little negative or positive to say. The comparably good weather conditions during September certainly helped to keep things going but whilst there was activity in the market, there wasn’t enough to really get excited about, nor was it bad enough to complain!
The new bike market remains all but level in comparison to last year running just over 1% ahead YTD. The Adventure Sport style category, undoubtedly fuelled by the Triumph Adventurer, and the Scooter sector continue to prop up the sales charts. Interestingly the Trail/Enduro style category is the only other sector which is showing any comparable growth.
This is perhaps significant because the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) held their first ever combined off-road experience day last month. This involved all the major off-road manufacturers combining to put on a free come and try day. A Press and Media day was held, followed the next day by 100 people who had registered online. The online registration was fully booked within hours of going live and points towards a potential growth area.
Track days have been a major growth area in recent years, but the cost of participation has exploded with tyre warmers and full blown race bikes appearing. The sales charts suggest that the UK’s Motorcycle fraternities’ obsession with Race Replica Sports bikes is waning, if only because of financial reasons rather than desirability. It is interesting to speculate then that a real attempt to promote off-road riding - be that fully competitive or simply going to one of the many dedicated centres around the country - would be worth exploring. Owning an older used Sports bike which could be polished and pampered to fulfil that need could be supplemented by owning an off-road bike as well. This would provide the fun element which is increasingly missing from road bike riding. The best of both worlds without an unrealistic outlay certainly seems to be the way to go and would keep the £ spend circulating through the Two Wheel market.
Values have weakened again this month, not any major shift but the market is rightly expected to slow in the coming weeks, with fewer used buyers in the market and more sellers looking to liquidate. The trade are still willing to buy used stock although the perpetual air of caution continues to temper any trade bids. Late plate used stock seems to be the most concerning, with older used stock looking more stable, particularly when clean low mile standard condition bikes are offered.
There always seems to be more Cruiser style bikes available at this time of year and that is true at the moment, whilst as noted previously mid-range utility bikes such as CBF and Bandit derivatives are struggling in dealerships.
All expect the coming few months to be difficult trading environment and the all-important cash flow is going to be stretched to the limit. Mild weather conditions will certain help the situation particularly as 2013 model introductions are unveiled up to the end of the year - a factor which will keep interest in the marketplace.