Motor Industry News
My Car Check Trade motorcycle market overview June 2015: Strong new and used sales but are mixed weather conditions holding back demand?
My Car Check 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 markets.
My Car Check Trade’s motorcycle expert, Rob Hobson, commented: “Recent feedback paints an interesting picture as to the overall health of the two wheel market. While the new market is certainly growing, with increased sales levels month-on-month, there is quiet concern that demand is not exactly on fire at this important time of year. Spring to summer is when the trade expects to fill its proverbial boots. The issue is that, if the current level of activity isn’t at least maintained, the back end of the year could prove difficult.
“Given the struggles of the post-recession period, it is encouraging that there is demand out there for both new and used bikes. However, based on the general buzz around the market, there is definitely a nagging feeling that it should be busier. Perhaps the mixed weather conditions throughout May have held the market back a little. A prolonged spell of proper summer conditions always brings a positive lift.
“New bike sales to the end of April were around 11.5% up for the year so far, compared to 2014. April as a month was ahead of the same month last year by over 10%. However, these headline figures hide a continued decline in the region of 10% in the moped sector, a trend as worrying, as it is surprising.
“In terms of stand-out models, the new Yamaha Tracer is one of the top sellers so far this year, while Ducati dealers report strong demand for the Scrambler variants. We have been surprised to hear rumours of supply shortages for one or two marques of late – not a brilliant situation in the middle of the main selling season.
“Demand for used stock remains high and, with certain big name players expanding their footprints, this situation should continue for the foreseeable future. In truth, only the parameters of what is acceptable in terms of ‘retailable’ stock, based on mileage and overall condition, is likely to change over the next few months.
“As an insight into the fickle nature of what is considered acceptable for used bike mileage, a colleague has just bought into the VW T5 world by buying a van that’s covered nearly 160,000 miles in under four years. Imagine that in the bike world!
“At a recent Triumph dealer open day, we saw two bikes suggested as being the best of their era. One was an early model Trident 900 triple, with 75,000 miles on the clock, one owner from new and only having had a new sprag clutch and consumables such as tyres and brakes replaced. The other was a 2005 Rocket III, which was like new and had 64,000 miles on the clock.
“For every 10 used bikes, maybe nine will have relatively low mileage, so the one with high mileage will be less desirable. These are natural market forces but we do seem to underestimate the potential of nearly all new motorcycles.”