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PREREGISTRATIONS SWAMP YEAR-END STATS

MCIA registration statistics for December were a seasonal fairy tale with Santa’s elves delivering magical numbers — of unsold and underogated Euro 4 stock in urgent need of plates. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Progressively mounting in degrees of unlikelihood, motorcycles were 45.8% up at 5126, scooters rose by 81.1% to 1916, mopeds climbed by 93.9% to 766 and trikes went ballistic to the tune of 233.3%, a 90-unit tally. The sum total of this monthly extravaganza was alleged 58.1% growth to 7898 machines.

Fantasy figures engulfed every parameter. Stars among style categories shone brightly. Custom was 75.5% higher, led by Lexmoto’s ZSB 125 EFi. Naked put on 51.6%, with Lexmoto’s ISCA 125 SK out in front. Supersport gained 69.9% and Lexmoto’s LXR 125 SY topped that particular pile. Trail/Enduro added 41.8%, as a fleet of KTM 300 EXC TPI enduro bikes took the holeshot.

Capacity classes displayed similar twisted reality. The 0-50cc slot blossomed by 93.7%, with the Yadea C-Like YD 1200 D-11 and Surron Light Bee claiming leadership. The high-volume 51-125cc firmament stacked on 134.9%, dominated by Lexmoto’s Enigma ZS 125 scooter. Middleweight 126-650cc stuff was 22.9% up, with Suzuki’s previously invisible DL650 V-Strom to the fore. The 651-1000cc range was also exuberant, boasting a 23.4% rise. Another Suzuki, the GSX-S750Z Phantom got those laurels.

Only over-1000cc machines spoilt this party, 0.6% down. BMW’s probably Euro 5 compliant R1250GS Adventure received highest-registered honours.

If you haven’t clocked the picture by now, December brand rankings gave the game away. Most major marques, short on stock anyway and obviously more capable of managing Euro 4 derogation issues, suffered registration declines. The three biggest Japanese contenders — Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki — were down respectively by 9.9%, 17.6% and 31.3%. Triumph sank by 21.9%. BMW Motorrad escaped with a minor 0.4% loss.

Primary preregistration culprits were blatantly obvious. Lexmoto apparently usurped Honda from long-standing market hegemony with a ridiculously unfeasible 531.3% monthly growth. Runner-up Suzuki recorded an incredible 180.3% recovery from its weak performance in December 2019. KTM’s 27.9% surge was also somewhat suspicious.

And as for niche retro scooter player Royal Alloy’s sudden ascension into top-ten territory, jaundiced observers would note that its fellow Keeway and SYM brands in the MotoGB distribution stable variously achieved the same feat during October and November, undoubtedly for the same reason.

A sensible estimate of the position, going forward into 2021, is that there are somewhere in the region of 4000 preregistered new bikes now gathering dust in showrooms or sheds, awaiting customers looking for bargains. Given the aforementioned inventory shortages and without this distortion, actual sales in the final month of 2020 probably turned negative.        

 

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