“We were expecting the market to be up in March as buyers traditionally wait for the new number plate, however registrations were down -12.6% - a huge drop of 2103 machines compared with March last year”, said Stephen Latham, Head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK.
Latham continued, “The sectors taking the biggest hit in volume terms were scooters and supersport - the same sectors that dominated the euro 3 pre-registrations in December. Sub 50cc mopeds were down -29.3% on last March, however as well as the pre-reg issue, this particular market has been declining as buyers are opting to go straight for 125cc machines.
“Lower powered cc sectors diminished the most in March by -31.2%, but year-to-date for the first quarter of 2017 these machines suffered a market decline of -30.7% - a massive reduction of 2989 new motorcycles going on the road and likely to be an effect of the huge pre-registration hike last December. Hopefully the majority of bikes have now found new owners and the market could return to normality next month.
“The market for bigger powered machines showed marginal declines of -12.5% for 126 - 650cc bikes and just -6.6% for 651 -1000cc bikes, as these models were less involved in the Euro 3 to 4 change over. Large motorcycles over 1000cc showed growth of 6.9% up from 3708 to 3962 units - an indication that the experienced enthusiast is still in the market place and prepared to spend at the top end of the market.
“BMW moved up to second place in the manufactures rankings with 2101 motorcycles registered in March, with only Honda surpassing them with 2904 bikes put on the road. This issue of demand for larger powered machines for the discerning enthusiasts buyers was further borne out by the inclusion of Triumph, Kawasaki and Harley Davidson in fourth, fifth and sixth position.
“We are hopeful the last big wash through of the Euro 3 registrations seen this March should hopefully return to normality in the summer months.”
Notes to editors:
Results taken from the Motor Cycle Industry Association Press Statistics March – New Motorcycle registrations.
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.