Saturday, June 15, 2024


Desperate mass pre-registration of Euro 3 legacy stock in the final month of 2016 underlined a tragi-comedy played out during the autumn by distributors and dealers as its year-end deadline approached, writes BDN financial editor Roger Willis.

Total registrations for December rocketed by 110.4% to a staggering 10,990 units. Some 7527 motorcycles constituted a 126.1% rise and 2592 scooters were 111.2% up. With a 31.1% improvement, a tally of 814 mopeds seemed modest in comparison.

This farce affected every engine capacity band and style category. The latter was topped by Custom — which went absolutely stratospheric with a 252.3% increase. A further tranche of unsold Keeway Superlight models once again led that slot. In fact, almost all highest-registered products across the various styles were Euro 3 detritus.

Monthly brand rankings and market shares were similarly distorted. Runaway leadership rank belonged to Chinese importer Lexmoto, claiming a somewhat fatuous share boost from 10.2% to 14.7%. That pushed Honda and Yamaha down into respectively second and third places. But because their volumes were actually close to the previous December’s numbers, suggesting a respectable absence of pre-registrations, market shares were slaughtered. Honda plunged from 17.6% to 9.7%. Yamaha fell from 10.9% to 5.2%.

In fourth, Suzuki miraculously almost trebled volume. Kawasaki in fifth doubled its numbers. And then Keeway leapt out of nowhere into sixth spot. KTM in seventh added an unlikely 66.9%. BMW in eighth and Harley-Davidson in ninth weren’t above Euro 3 disposal suspicion either. The former put on 43.3% and the latter more than doubled registrations. As for tenth, say hello to Herald Motor Company, which also starred as winner in the Naked category with its evocatively entitled XF125 GY-2D. British flag-carrier Triumph, a long-term fixture in the top-ten chart, vanished altogether.

Full-year 2016 figures are inevitably corrupted by these machinations. For what it’s worth, motorcycles were 11.8% up to 91,508 units, scooters rose by 19.6% to 27,482 units and mopeds 6.8% down at 8712 units. Overall, registrations finished 11.7% up at 128,644 units. An indeterminate quantity of these bikes — certainly many thousands — are unsold and due for distress discounting.

A significant negative impact on 2017 early-season performance is anticipated. 

Full December stats



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