Motor Industry News
December 2012 Used Bike Market Editorial
As the dust settles on this year’s Motorcycle Live, which ends on the 2nd December at the NEC Birmingham, then it is worth noting a number of observations which were in evidence at the show. Aside from the lack of Chinese derived product on display, the dominant theme was of Touring Adventure Motorcycling. Textile clothing and touring holidays were infinitely more prevalent than once piece race leathers. The latter being more confined to the Discount sales racks! Obviously Sports bikes and Track Competition is still a major factor in this country, it was just that the overall shift in emphasis was clearly tangible. Nostalgia was also an overriding theme with a number of manufacturers celebrating their heritage. The classic market is growing ever more important and beyond stunning classic machines on show from the likes of Kawasaki and Ducati. There were also a number of new machines on the market for 2013, which owe more than a passing resemblance to bikes from the 70’s and 80’s.
With only the final few weeks of the years trading to add onto the New bike sales statistics, then there is little notable change to report. The market is still running pretty much flat compared with last year and will probably finish at around the 94,000 unit mark although with the underlying shift in sectors previously noted.
In terms of the used market then it is always a difficult period as we approach the end of the year and the weather deteriorates. There are quite marked differences in individual dealer’s reports. Some are really feeling the pinch and the next few months are going to be almost make or break. Whilst no one can claim to be exactly buoyant, there are individual good news stories and it is clear that the trade is still willing to buy used stock albeit cautiously. We have eased values back slightly this month just based on reduced transaction prices, but overall they are still holding up well. Obviously there is a desire to buy as well behind what may be market value as possible, but with on-line auction sites increasingly dictating the level then it is increasingly difficult for the trade to get those big winners even at this time of year.
As far as individual model changes, then it is really the late plate examples which are under pressure. As always there are significant numbers of dealer pre-registered bikes available at this time of year and this obviously affects one or two year old machines. Top-end Sports bikes particularly from the Japanese brands, CBR1000 RR, Yamaha R1, Suzuki GSXR1000 and Kawasaki ZX10R are perhaps the most concerning. Big Custom-derived bikes always become less sought after at this time of year and with the higher level of investment involved, these become less favourable until the sun starts to shine again. The strongest sectors remain in the mainstream middle ground. High mileage examples still stand out as less desirable, simply because of comparative number of low use examples, but generally anything clean and standard is relatively good news. It is by no means a positive picture; many in the trade are under severe financial pressure, but hasn’t it always been so? There is a level of demand out there; the trick is to be flexible and work hard enough to keep things turning over.
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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