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nmda optimistic of early return to market normality

“The deadline on Euro 3 motorcycles certainly created a peak in the bike market last month as predicted,” said Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA), which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK.

He writes: “As expected, it was the high volume of low-cost machines that proportionally registered the biggest numbers. Many of these machines came from the 125cc category and were purchased mostly by commuters as a form of low-priced reliable new transport. Many of these machines come from the Far East, with their long delivery times to the UK meaning stocks were high and the necessity to register them by the year-end was inevitable. A percentage of these motorcycles will have been pre-registered by the dealers to find new owners in the first few months of 2017.”

Latham continued, “In December, all sizes and models of PTW registrations were up a massive 110.4%. The overall market achieved a credible 11.7% YTD increase compared with 2015 – a total of 128,644 machines licensed in 2016 – the highest figures for seven years. The December boost in registrations has significantly lifted the year-to-date growth from around 8% throughout the remainder of the year.

“All power sectors showed significant growth in December, but the highest increase, of 165.4% and 101.3%, came from the 51-125cc and 126-650cc sectors respectively. It is worth noting that nearly 40% of all new bikes sold came from the 50-125cc power range.

“While we welcome this boost to the market, it could be short-lived as many dealers will now have registered stock in their showrooms to beat the month-end deadline, and in turn they will be keen to discount these motorcycles to new customers. This may suppress the market for a short while.

“Lexmoto was the leading manufacturer in December with 1620 units registered, followed by Honda with 1070 units, and Yamaha with 574 units. Neither Honda nor Yamaha would have been heavily stocked with old Euro 3 products and will almost certainly regain their number one and two positions in the market from January. With a high level of registrations coming from the less-well-established players such as Herald, Keeway, Hyosung and Lexmoto in December, it is anticipated that the more established brands could now have a better start to 2017.

“The NMDA is optimistic as we look at the 2017 market and look forward to seeing a more stable and traditional market-place in January and February with a more normal sales profile of models registered.”

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