The National Motorcycle Dealers Association has described the 2018 registrations total as “remarkable” bearing in mind the economic and political environment. It says dealers are “cautiously optimistic for the longer-term but do have concerns about the next few months.
“With all the goings on in 2018 and the political and economic uncertainty over Brexit, it was remarkable to see motorcycle registrations being at the same volume as the previous year when you compare them with the car market. Car sales declined by 6.8% and light commercials by 1.3%.”
Latham said that while these automotive sectors partly relied on business buyers who were holding back on vehicle acquisitions because of the economic uncertainty, motorcyclists were continuing to buy.
“December was not a good registration month for dealers, being down 17.9%, and this could be a sign of things to come over the first part of the new year until light can be seen at the end of the tunnel over the indecisiveness of our future relationship with our European neighbours.
“During December, all registrations were down on the same month last year except for the 50cc-125cc motorcycles and to a lesser extent the 651cc–1000cc machines,” Latham noted.
“Throughout the past year the only two sectors to show growth were the mid-range machines of 50cc-125cc and the 126cc-650cc segments. The former was up 6.8%, thanks more to motorcycles than scooters.
“The 126cc-650cc ranges grew by a massive 13%, meaning sales of 20,016 machines were registered, an increase from 17,714 registrations in 2017.
“Most bike types experienced modest improvements throughout the year, with the declines happening in the adventure-sport and supersport styles.
“Talking to motorcycle dealers around the country, there is an air of cautious optimism for the longer-term future but concern around the immediate next few months as hopefully the many uncertainties will be resolved over the first half of 2019.”
Stats provided by the MCIA.