‘Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring’ – that’s the message on registrations from the new CEO of the Motor Cycle Industry Association, Tony Campbell, who explains why the market is not as bad as it appears
This year was always going to be a strange one following the introduction of Euro 4, and as a result we’ve seen significant distortions in the market as we near the end of 2017. In fact, the 2016 market was being affected much earlier, starting in January 2016, when there was a sharp rise in a number of manufacturer / brand registrations which were clearly not normal sales.
It was not until this time last year (quarter four) that the market really experienced the full impact of Euro 3 pre-registrations, with November and particularly December seeing almost twice the market volume compared with the previous year.
So what does all this mean for the full year forecast for 2017? And what impact on the market trend year on year are we likely to see as we all pop open the bubbly on New Year’s Eve?
Quarter four was always going to look ugly, so let’s not be alarmed by the year on year comparison. This was the main period of pre-registration activity in 2016 and therefore this December is likely to show a 50% decline on the same month last year . The message, therefore, is remain calm!
Year to date October, the market is trending at -15%. If you take into account the estimated 10,000 to 12,000 unit distortion from 2016 (with a high level of carry-over into 2017 dealer stock), the market would likely be flat if not slightly positive for this year. October ’17 compared with October ’16 was -13%, so slightly ahead of the full year trend of -15%; a small but positive sign.
So finally getting to the full year, we expect the market to close at a total volume of between 107,000 and 110,000, depending on the level of pre-registrations as a result of the Euro 3/4 50cc transition (currently estimated to be circa 1300 units).
A final thought, and significant reason to be optimistic for the future, is that overall usage is clearly going up. The circulating parc has reached 1.445 million regular users of PTWs, which is a nine-year high.