April marked a 16% decline in motorcycle sales with only 10,365 bikes registered – compared to 12,343 bikes put on the road in the same period last year, according to the latest Motor Cycle Industry Association figures for motorcycle registrations.
Commenting on the figures, Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA), said: “Although this is a decrease of almost 2,000 bikes, it is fair to say we cannot continue to put this trend down to the Euro 3 to 4 transition. More than likely this could be down to the unnerving of the public since the triggering of article 50 and news of the general election. Consumers are likely to be holding off on high-cost purchases until things become clearer and confidence returns to the market place.
“In terms of market stats, the largest decline in April came from scooters at -30.2%, while the remainder of the market declined at -11.6%. Again, when you look at the decline in power/cc range, it was the 0-50cc and 51-125cc that recorded the most significant decline of -27.3% and -37.4% respectfully. A clear indication that some of the pre-registration euro 3 machines are continuing to wash through the system and depressing this low power market.
“While higher powered machines of 126-650cc and over, and 1000cc machines suffered a more modest decline in registrations, the mid-size 651-1000cc motorcycles showed a healthy increase of 8.7% - indicating that the traditional riders are still out there and continuing to make purchases despite speculation about consumer confidence.
“With year-to-date registration figures for the first four months of this year down by 15.2% at 33,678 bikes – compared to last year’s figure of 39,738, it seems unlikely that the market will be as positive as 2016’s registrations.
“The NMDA are hopeful that consumer confidence will return to the market in the run-up to the general election, and the market will begin to stabilise. We look forward to seeing what the next few months have in store.”