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REGISTRATIONS NORMALITY BECKONS

Monthly MCIA registrations data finally paralleled similar year-on-year circumstances in June, presenting a much more measured view of market demand. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Such a perspective needs to be qualified, though. In June 2020, dealerships had just fully reopened for business, and benefited from the beginning of a recovery surge. In June 2021, we’ve already enjoyed two months of muscular post-lockdown latent demand and could see that starting to tail off, principally owing to well-documented supply constraints.

Nevertheless, total numbers climbing by a useful 11.2% to 14,863 had the ring of comforting normality. Scooters led the way, 31.3% up to 3449. Some 781 samples of Yamaha’s fleet-friendly NMax 125 accounted for more than a fifth of the entire sector and took overall highest-registered machine laurels.

However, motorcycles dominated, adding a comparatively modest 6.5% to 10,532. Among larger-volume style categories, Naked machines topped the pile in volume but managed only gestural 1.1% growth. Adventure bikes came a close second, soaring by a splendid 40.7%. Further down the four-digit pecking order, Modern Classic and Custom steeds were narrowly positive, with respective 1.9% and 2.2% gains, while Road Sport fell by 4.3%.

The still fairly small 0-50cc engine band, which now mixes petrol-powered mopeds with 4kW electric tackle, stacked on 33.4% to 1091. Chinese-built Yadea C-Like electric scooters were front-rankers, claiming 11.1% of the slot. That percentage would be higher if the Lexmoto E-Lex, which is a rebranded Yadea, had been included.

Generally, above the 50cc mark, smaller capacity classes were weak. The 51-125cc range grew by a mere 2.8% to 5017, suggesting the “ride to work” recruitment bubble may be deflating and fleet purchases levelling off (despite Yamaha’s best efforts). All the same, it still represented approximately a third of total registrations. In relation to the fleet factor, as pubs, cafés and restaurants are freed from Covid restrictions, the food-delivery market might decline considerably.

Middleweight 126-650cc stuff was worse, thanks to a slight 0.2% loss at 2542. Royal Enfield’s 650 Interceptor was on top of the band’s highest-registered podium, and its new 350 Meteor baby cruiser claimed a style accolade. But there was plenty of big-bike gravy being served. Over-650cc machines rose by 21.5% to 6213 and were responsible for 41.8% of total registrations.

Returning to supply-chain bottlenecks, brands with stock-famine issues stood out like sore thumbs in the top-ten chart. In fourth place, Triumph’s numbers were stagnant, four bikes and 0.3% lower. Lexmoto in sixth crashed 48.6% down against last June, clearly suffering from a logistical China syndrome. Seventh-placed KTM plunged by 29.9%, presumably lacking sufficient inventory of smaller models shipped from Bajaj in India. Tail-ender Suzuki performed a 32.9% dive, with many of its dealers complaining about having nothing left to sell.

On a brighter note, there were some big positives. But available model mix was scratchy for some. Honda reinforced market hegemony with a 33.6% improvement. Runner-up Yamaha scored a stupendous 46.8% gain. Of course, 41.1% of its total tally consisted of a single model, the aforementioned NMax 125 scooter.

BMW Motorrad in third spot was certainly the most profitable brand in June, 41.3% up and boasting a range almost entirely aimed at emptying fat wallets. To underline this point, its premium-priced R1250GS Adventure came second in the highest-registered stakes. Kawasaki did alright in fifth, adding 19.6%. And then Ducati and Royal Enfield, in eighth and ninth, respectively achieved 31.1% and 39.3% rises.    

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