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Autumn gloom sinks November UK registrations

Although we have now reached the silly season where unit registrations suffer from a four-month winter hiatus of numbers so low that identifying or predicting trends is a pointless exercise, November’s Motor Cycle Industry Association statistics are nevertheless disappointing.

Total registrations for the month fell by 3.2 per cent to 5092 units. Motorcycles and scooters were down by 2.3 per cent at 4141 units while the 50cc sector shrank by 6.9 per cent to 951 units. However, gains earlier in the year mean that the overall market for the 11 months of 2012 to date is still marginally positive, up by just 0.1 per cent at 89,968 units. Motorcycles and scooters are up by 1.4 per cent to 77,212 units but mopeds have dropped by 7.1 per cent to 12,756 units.

The only high-volume style category that stayed upbeat in November was Scooter, with a 1.8 per cent increase to 1358 units. Naked fell by 15.8 per cent to 738 units and Supersport lost 11.7 per cent at 482 units. Most tellingly, the 51-125cc capacity band (which effectively now spans a majority of products in all of those categories) dropped by 6.8 per cent to 2125 units. Even the Adventure Sport hardy perennial was marginally down by 0.6 per cent to 485 units.

We can take solace, though, by looking at year-to-date numbers in the same slots. Scooter is up by a useful 11.3 per cent to 20,065 units. Naked has held its turf with a 0.4 per cent rise to 16,635 units. Supersport is only down by 4.2 per cent to 11,930 units, a much better result than the declines we have seen in the past few years. And Adventure Sport has grown by 16.6 per cent to 11,326 units.

For what it’s worth, Honda led the market again in November with 890 units. Yamaha was second on 536 units and Piaggio completed the podium thanks to 362 units. Triumph (358 units) and the Chinese brand Lexmoto (236 units) filled out the top five. Suzuki, unique among the four Japanese brands, failed to qualify for the top ten.

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