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dealers explain what's driving the market

Last month the National Motorcycle Dealers Association wondered if the market -with only a 0.3% increase in sales compared with October 2015 – was stagnating, yet in spite of the dreary weather November has seen a strong uplift of a 12.1% in motorcycle registrations year on year.

Total registrations for November were 7644 machines, a significant increase over the 6821 units put on the road a year ago. All power/cc sectors except sub-50cc mopeds increased, the largest uplift coming in mid-range motorcycles, 126cc-650cc being 25% up on last November.

Honda led the pack with 1212 units registered. Yamaha followed with 814 motorcycles going on the road and in third place was a very strong result from KTM, with 739 machines registered.

NMDA boss Steve Latham said: “After discussions with dealers about what’s driving the market, some say current reasonable prices before the sterling exchange rate price increases take effect are bringing customers forward, others say the discounts being offered to ensure little or no Euro 3 stock remains in the showroom past the end of the year is forcing additional sales.

“Either way there are some very competitive finance/PCP contracts in the showrooms at the moment on run-out models but also on the latest Euro 4 machines offered by the big, established manufacturers who realigned their model ranges earlier this year.

“The registration figures for the year to November stand at 117,654 machines, compared with last year’s November year-to-date figure of 109,897 units, an increase of 7.1%. Bearing in mind that in the whole of 2015, 114,106 motorcycles were registered, it looks like the final run-out of Euro 3 machines plus low interest rates and the confidence of consumers will mean total sales for 2016 could be high.

“On a note of caution, some brands still have small stocks of Euro 3 machines that are not derogated. If not sold to customers this month the vehicles will need to be registered by dealers. Apart from bolstering the registration figures for this December, these bikes will need to be sold as nearly-new, self-registered motorcycles in January/February next year.

“Owing to dealer concerns about cash-flow in the quieter trading months and expiring manufacturer warranty periods, dealers will want to discount and dispose of these self-registration bikes fast, which could potentially depress new motorcycle registrations for the first few months of 2017.”


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