Motor Industry News
MyCarCheck.com/Trade Motorcycle Market Overview January 2014:
Demand for clean used stock as Harley-Davidson eyes mid-weight sector
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MyCarCheck.com/Trade is the trade valuations arm of CDL Vehicle Information Services. Based on cutting-edge industry data and feedback from independent and franchised dealers, these monthly bulletins highlight the most significant trends in the UK motorbike and scooter market.
MyCarCheck.com/Trade’s motorcycle expert, Rob Hobson, commented: “At the start of a new year it’s worth reflecting upon expectations for the coming months. Severe weather conditions stifled the motorcycle market during the first quarter of last year and it has to be hoped, despite reports to the contrary, that we get a reasonable start to 2014. There is definitely an air of confidence and cautious optimism around, although we are some way off feeling like the good times are here again.
“The new bike market rallied through the final part of last year, albeit fuelled by a significant amount of dealer pre-registration. It will probably finish pretty much in line with last year in terms of overall numbers once the final figures are published. There are also some positive initiatives which should gather momentum and help to promote two wheel use. There is real growth ahead for Ride to Work schemes and, while this is hard to justify in terms of profit opportunities for the trade, getting more people riding bikes has to be a good thing long term.
“The shift in power towards the European brands, along with Adventure/Tour derivatives, has increased. This trend is likely to be on-going but there is a concern that, with an ageing customer base, large capacity Adventure bikes, which dominate the sales charts at the moment, could become too much for their owners. This could see them downgrade to the mid-weight market, possibly creating a glut of one-make used examples in the market. In a relatively small marketplace, any dominant model has to be watched carefully.
“It is clear that manufacturers are looking to the mid-weight sector, with a number of new introductions: KTM 390 Duke being one bike of note which might capture buyer’s imaginations. Even Harley Davidson is looking to get in on the act with the launch of smaller engine 500cc and 750cc Sportster variants. Yamaha is making a lot of its fight back with the MT-09 and MT-07, due early this year. The MT-09 has had good early reviews and it has to be hoped they can supply the early demand.
“In terms of the used market, it is getting ever more difficult to buy those really big earners which make the job profitable. For dealers it has to be a case of maximising every opportunity. Perhaps more than ever there are contrasting reports, but overall the used market held up well throughout last year. That looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
“There is demand, pretty much across the spectrum, for clean used stock. In particular for models in standard condition with below to average mileage. Both demand and values weaken sharply for bikes with high mileage and aftermarket parts catalogue bits fitted.
“Dealers mention how often they are asked to appraise used bikes which the owners promise are ‘mint’, only to find them with bald tyres, a rusty chain and generally unloved. You can usually spot a bike which just needs a bit of TLC, but certain things should set the alarm bells ringing for any potential buyer. It is always a surprise that owners don’t present their bikes in their best light when looking to sell. At least this offers dealers some added profit opportunities.
“It has to be a concern that the 50cc market is in such sharp decline and we may have to accept that a generation of kids has been missed. Cost of ownership is a factor behind their demise and perhaps the wave of sub-standard Chinese product which hit the market a few years ago had a negative effect.
“One thing about the motorbike industry is there is usually something significant and unforeseen just around the corner. That is part of what makes this the best industry in the world to work in. Happy New Year!”
MyCarCheck.com/Trade provides buyers and sellers with all the vehicle price data they need: ready to retail, trade, average, retail and Cat D. As a free bonus, it also provides the annual road tax cost and key DVLA information, including the make, model, colour, engine size, body style, fuel type and date of registration.
Simply enter a motorcycle, car or van registration and the vehicle’s mileage to get an accurate valuation and additional information in an instant. Once signed up you can check as many vehicles as you like at no extra cost.
The MyCarCheck.com/Trade team includes:
Gavin Amos has 15 years’ experience in the used vehicle sector. After starting out at CAP he worked in several dealerships, progressing into management. He has hands-on experience of sourcing and disposing of stock, both to trade and retail customers.
Alan Senior has 35 years’ experience in used car valuations. After a decade running a franchised dealership he spent 20 years at CAP where he was Senior Editor of the Black and Red books and co-founder of the Green book, then two years as editor of Parkers Guide before co-founding VIP Data valuation services.
David Hill specialises in LCVs. He worked with Renault, LDV and Isuzu Trucks before spending 10 years as CAP’s Light Commercial Vehicle Editor then 5 years as national used vehicle sales manager for Iveco. He joined CDL in 2011.
Rob Hobson specialises in motorbikes and scooters. After leaving a dealer role to launch CAP’s Green Book, he worked in business development for Piaggio.