Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) has stated that the end-of-year peak in the bike market arrived “as predicted” as a result of the Euro 3 deadline. Commenting on figures released by the Motor Cycle Industry Association, Latham said it was the high volume of low cost machines that proportionally registered the highest numbers.
Many of these machines came from the 125cc category and were purchased mostly by commuters as a form of low-priced reliable new transport. A percentage of these motorcycles will have been pre-registered by the dealers to find new owners in the first few months of 2017.
Latham continued: “In December, all sizes and models of power2wheelers registrations were up a massive 110.4 per cent. The overall market achieved a credible 11.7 per cent YTD increase compared to 2015 – a total of 128,644 machines licenced in 2016 – the highest figures for seven years. The December boost in registrations has significantly lifted the year-to-date growth from around 8 per cent throughout the remainder of the year.
“All power sectors showed significant growth in December, but the highest increase of 165.4 per cent and 101.3 per cent came from the 51-125cc and 126-650cc sectors respectfully. It is worth noting that nearly 40 per cent of all new bikes sold came from the 50-125cc power range.
“Whilst we welcome this boost to the market, it could be short lived as many dealers will now have registered stock in their showrooms to beat the month end deadline, and in turn they will be keen to discount these motorcycles to new customers. This may suppress the market for a short while.
“Lexmoto was the leading manufacturer in December with 1620 units registered, followed by Honda with 1070 units, and Yamaha with 574 units. Neither Honda nor Yamaha would have been heavily stocked with old Euro 3 products and will almost certainly regain their number 1 and 2 position in the market from January. With a high level of registrations coming from the less well established players like Herald, Keeway, Hyosung and Lexmoto in December, it is anticipated that the more established brands could now have a better start to 2017.
“As we look at the 2017 market, we should see a more stable and traditional environment for January and February.”