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REGISTRATIONS SHRINKAGE UNABATED

As widely anticipated after anecdotal evidence from dealers of progressively declining footfall towards the end of October, November MCIA registrations data got worse. BDN financial editor Roger Willis does the sums.

Total monthly headcount fell by 8.8% to 6647, with a 13% increase for scooters to 1717, propping up really lacklustre performance elsewhere. Motorcycles were 13.9% down to 4455. Mopeds plunged by 20.5% to 423. Trikes took a 23.5% dive to 52.

Up-to-125cc entry-level mobility and delivery fleet machines actually grew by 13.5% to 3882 — 58.4% of the entire market, as a big contribution from eighth-litre scooters mainly destined for professional purposes overwhelmed the sub-50cc sector shortfall. Some 410 Honda PCX125 products, 31.6% of Honda’s monthly registrations, took much of the credit.

The 126-650cc band, spanning A2 entry/mobility and budget-conscious enthusiasm, had no such excuses. Numbers sank by 27.6% to 1254. Royal Enfield’s Classic 350 claimed highest-registered status thanks to just 52 units. An unlikely squad of 40 Beta RR300 stinkwheel enduro irons, presumably preregistered for discount disposal, helped to pad out the field.

Larger 651cc-plus profit centres held up better, only 0.7% down to a tally of 2125 units. In the 651-1000cc slot, 44 samples of the premium-priced World Raid version of Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 were highest-registered, obviously settling a tranche of long-awaited back orders. BMW Motorrad’s R1250GS Adventure worked the same trick for over-1000cc, a lucrative 96 of them accounting for 10.3% of that market segment.

The major brands chart was very much a tale of stock availability or otherwise — essentially, the top three cashed in. Honda boasted a muscular 36.2% increase to 1297 units. Those PCX125 scooters and a 176-strong phalanx of CBF125M motorcycles were responsible for almost half of this total. Yamaha put on 21% to 794 and BMW was 13.2% up to 472.

A long list of losers followed. Triumph fell by 13.8% to 394. KTM was 24.1% in arrears on 321. Lexmoto plummeted by 49.1% to 256, unsurprising given the industrial chaos induced by Covid lockdowns currently afficting its Chinese source. Kawasaki was 13.8% down at 249 units, despite having reportedly told dealers that its high season supply shortages were largely over.

Royal Enfield suffered a dramatic reversal, 60.9% lower on a mere 179 bikes. Whether this was a reflection of the forthcoming demise of MotoGB’s inventory warehousing, product and parts distribution relationship remained unclear. The company is also presently awaiting the European debut of a new ultra-cheap Hunter 350 model too.

Finally, Suzuki surfaced for a rare chart appearance, having plated 159 units. A rush to buy legacy GSX-R1000 stock approaching its ultimate sell-by date, as the brand exits its historic sporting profile, may have helped.

For the 11 months of 2022 to date, overall registrations have risen by a now almost negligible 2.1% to 110,608. 651cc-plus cash cows are just 1% up at 40,078. To achieve break-even versus 2021, dealers will need to register a minimum of 3763 machines during December, against a background of seriously shortened Yuletide opening hours. Tidying up derogated Euro 4 remnants through preregistration and a spot of bonus-hunting should narrowly facilitate that outcome.  

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