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Expo at Stoneleigh reveals market potential

Motorcycle Expo proved the potential for market growth, according to trade analyst Rob Hobson of

“Expo is always a good barometer as to how the year is likely to go. There certainly appears to be sufficient confidence to build on last year’s growth, if not to achieve a further significant upturn then at least to draw a line under the recent years of decline. Encouragingly, attendance was up by around 20 per cent, which indicates a widespread determination to plan properly for the year ahead.”

Hobson continued: “The used market has already started to pick up and showroom enquiries are reportedly good. Values remain strong across the board and we expect both trade bids and retail values to increase once the threat of bad weather recedes.

“A number of large dealer groups are in the process of expanding, and others might well follow suit. With used bikes often the focus of these ventures, the challenge of sourcing clean retail stock will only get harder. It is increasingly risky to rely on new sales to provide enough part exchanges to meet used demand, so buyers will have to be proactive in pursuing all opportunities.

“Next month sees the introduction of another new registration, with 15 plate bikes on our roads from 1 March. Recent history has shown that demand is often dealer-led, either by supply constraints on new models or by sell-out target bonuses. Many customers just want their bikes as soon as possible, ideally to coincide with the new season and the arrival of milder weather.

“It is worth noting that well-known trade figure John Featherstone has been tasked with instigating a recruitment drive for the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA). He will be visiting the dealer network over the next few months, highlighting the benefits of membership. The two-wheel market is relatively small and fairly insular, so a strong dealer voice, aired through the NMDA, can only be a good thing. Bear in mind the cost of membership is frequently justified by the association’s legal advice service.” provides buyers and sellers with all the vehicle price data they need.

Hobson specialises in motorbikes and scooters. After leaving a dealer role to launch CAP’s Green Book, he worked in business development for Piaggio.


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