Brexit and general election factors in decline in motorcycle sales – NMDA

The triggering of Article 50 and the decision to call a general election have been cited as factors in the 16 per cent decline in motorcycle sales registered by Motor Cycle Industry Association figures in April. 10,365 bikes were registered, compared to 12,343 bikes put on the road in the same period for 2016.

Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK, said: “Although this is a decrease of almost 2,000 bikes, it is fair to say we cannot continue to put this trend down to the Euro 3 to 4 transition. More than likely this could be down to the unnerving of the public since the triggering of Article 50 and news of the general election. Consumers are likely to be holding off on high-cost purchases until things become clearer and confidence returns to the market place.

“In terms of market stats, the largest decline in April came from scooters at -30.2 per cent, whilst the remainder of the market declined at -11.6 per cent. Again, when you look at the decline in power/cc range, it was the 0-50cc and 51-125cc that recorded the most significant decline of -27.3 per cent and -37.4 per cent respectively. A clear indication that some of the pre-registration euro 3 machines are continuing to wash through the system and depressing this low power market.

“Whilst higher powered machines of 126-650cc and over, and 1000cc machines, suffered a more modest decline in registrations, the mid-size 651-1000cc motorcycles showed a healthy increase of 8.7 per cent – indicating that the traditional riders are still out there and continuing to make purchases despite speculation  about consumer confidence.

“With year-to-date registration figures for the first four months of this year down 15.2 per cent at 33,678 bikes – compared to last year’s figure of 39,738, it seems unlikely that the market will be as positive as 2016’s registrations.

“The NMDA are hopeful that consumer confidence will return to the market in the run-up to the general election, and the market will begin to stabilise. We look forward to seeing what the next few months have in store.”

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