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preview of 2016 registrations analysis

A huge divergence between UK registrations and retail reality developed through the latter part of last year, writes BDN financial editor Roger Willis. Discerning what really happened to the 2016 UK powered two-wheeler market from MCIA registration statistics has to be based on performance during the eight months to August, which showed a fairly consistent trend of weaker growth setting in across the summer.

There were qualifying factors. For example, market leaders Honda and Yamaha found themselves short-stocked on key models for differing reasons, hindering dealers’ ability fully to exploit sales opportunities during the peak season. And July’s abrupt negativity could be accurately attributed to a Brexit referendum knee-jerk. But, after two portions of double-digit market recovery percentages in 2014 and 2015, a slowing growth pattern nevertheless became evident.

Looking at the latest monthly figures, for December, the tally collapsed into farce. Registrations went stratospheric as a broad swathe of manufacturers and importers — including allegedly respectable big-time names from the Japanese, European and US firmaments — rushed like Gadarene swine to bang plates on underogated leftovers before the year-end.

So how many bikes have been preregistered and unsold over the past four months, and where does the industry stand as we look ahead to the new season? Read Roger Willis’ full-year analysis in the February issue of BDN.

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