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NOVEMBER REGISTRATIONS GLOOM

We don’t really expect much good news in late autumn. And there certainly wasn’t much to be found in November registrations data from the MCIA. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Total registrations for the month were 2.2% down at 6151 units. Motorcycles fell quite sharply by 8.5% to 3994. Mopeds continued their remorseless decline, sinking by 16% to 431 or 14.4% to 445, depending on which page of the statistics release one chooses to believe. Scooters, on the other hand, posted a miraculous but almost certainly fake surge — rising by 22.7% to 1674.

After all, it’s time to bear in mind seasonal influences, when year-end bonus acquisition targets encourage pre-registration of dust-gathering dealer inventory. And there’s plenty of evidence around to justify such an assertion.

Besides the 50cc slot, both 51-125cc and 126-650cc engine bands deteriorated, respectively dropping by 6.4% to 2330 and 1.2% to 1202. But 651-1000cc tackle added 2.2% to 1187. And then over-1000cc machines apparently mounted a respectable charge, putting on an impressive 9.4% to 987.

There are two explanations for that latter phenomenon. The first was plates banged on some 79 samples of the highly desirable 2019-model BMW 1250GS, early stock availability providing a welcome 2018 twilight earner for Motorrad dealers. And then there was a solid wedge of preregistrations, the likely culprit for which will be identified shortly.

Moving on to top-10 brand rankings, guilty parties stood out like sore thumbs. Triumph, with many of its products in the aforementioned over-1000cc range, took third spot, boasting an incredible 41.9% increase. Members of the trade who see more detailed information than us shared their mirth at Triumph’s registrations almost quadrupling during the final week of November. They were also highly amused by Piaggio’s more than eight-fold registrations rise in the same week, so the brand could claim an amazing monthly improvement of 27.4% in fifth place.

The rest were generally pukka. On top of the pile as usual, Honda grew by 4.3%. Runner-up Yamaha slumped by 26.9%. KTM in fourth was 4.4% down. The accuracy of Lexmoto’s 10.8% gain in sixth and a 12% hike for BMW in seventh were feasible. And then the final three certainly wouldn’t have faked their losses. In order, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Harley-Davidson declined respectively by 10.7%, 44.7% and 24.6%.

For the 11 months of 2018 to date, motorcycles are 2.6% up to 76,339. Scooters have grown by 5.9% to 18,676. Mopeds are 21.4% down to 5040 and trikes have lost 19.5% on 619. Overall YTD registrations are now a very slim 1.5% up at 100,674.
 

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