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REGISTRATIONS STRUGGLE FOR GRIP

After underwhelming new-plate numbers in March, April registrations failed to impress too, as new-season showroom footfall lacked purchase momentum. The MCIA’s total monthly headcount rose by a pathetic 1.1% to 9960 units. Whether this was attributable to weaker demand or absent inventory had to be moot. BDN financial editor Roger Willis suspects a mixture of both.

Motorcycles were on the receiving end of a 0.9% decline to 7450, countered by a 4.4% gain for scooters to 1921 and a better 24.9% improvement for mopeds to 502. Trikes were 3.3% down to 87.

Petrolhead products overall were just 0.4% up to 9546. The up-to-125cc mobility and fleet delivery segment added a reasonable 6.3% to 3325 — by far the biggest slice of April registrations. Some 393 samples of Honda’s PCX 125 scooter waved the fleet leadership flag. The only other prospering slot was the notionally A2-dominated 126-500cc segment, with growth of a fat 18.8% to 1887. Within that, Triumph’s Speed 400 was outright best-seller and Royal Enfield’s Meteor 350 deserved an honourable mention, as they also earned respective Modern Classic and Custom best-seller laurels.

Every larger capacity class incurred losses. Machines in the 501-750cc bracket fell by 10.1% to 1239, headed up by the bland but versatile Honda NC750X workhorse. Cash-cow steeds in 751-1000cc range surrendered some popularity too, 8.9% down for a second consecutive month, this time to a 1592 tally. However, Triumph’s Tiger 900GT Pro also held best-seller status for a second month on the trot.

Premium 1000cc-plus products were 10.1% in arrears as well, on 1503 registrations. BMW Motorrad was rewarded with the best-seller dog biscuit for its rump R1250GS Adventure, which de-throned the new R1300GS. That probably reflects inventory restocking issues, following particularly high R1300GS sales volume in March.

As for the year-on-year brand ranking chart, some of it revolved around distortions from the double-digit percentage registrations decline last April. Inevitably, Honda hung onto hegemony, 6.3% up. But PCX 125 scooter fleet input accounted for about 20% of sales. Triumph stacked on 21.4% to a fairly distant second, with budget-priced Speed 400 sales contributing 17% of its total. On third spot, Yamaha retreated by 12.8%. BMW Motorrad enjoyed 28% growth in fourth place. Shifting swansong R1250GS Adventure stock represented 26.2% of its headcount. Royal Enfield completed the Top Five, 10.4% up.

KTM in sixth plunged by 21.7%. Contrarily, Lexmoto in seventh went ballistic, increasing by 75.2% — undoubtedly a bonus from inventory influx. Kawasaki in eighth virtually flatlined, a 1.3% rise equating to half a dozen extra sales. Harley-Davidson made a rare chart appearance in ninth, boasting just 216 units sold. No comparison was possible, because we weren’t blessed with such a visit 12 months earlier. Finally, Suzuki crept into tenth, its volume plummeting by 30.6%. That obviously denoted a grievous hangover of back orders awaited.

In the four months of 2024 to date, total registrations have now risen by a mere 0.1% to 37,912. The internal combustion firmament has fallen by 0.2% to 36,724. Battery-electric products have grown by 10.4% to just 1188 units. The word “positive” — attached to this data by a leading industry executive — is hardly appropriate.

 

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