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January PTW sales drop but dealer outlook for 2021 remains positive

NMDA 05/02/2021

“Following a particularly strong year that demonstrated the ability of businesses to adapt and embrace click & collect, January’s decline indicates a degree of weariness in the marketplace, but dealers remain positive about 2021”, said Paddy O’Connell, Head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) commenting on the latest MCIA’s registration figures.

MCIA’s latest statistics showed the overall Power-Two-Wheeler (PTW) market was down 36.7% in January, a total of 2,312 fewer units sold compared to the same period last year. With much of the UK plunged into further Covid related restrictions from January, the “weariness of the marketplace” may have contributed to the drop in motorcycle and scooter sales, respectively down -43.1% and -22.8%.

Despite the fall in January, Honda remains the major brand seller with 549 units, followed by Lexmoto (310 units) and KTM (288 units). The BMW R 1250 GS Adventure retains the top spot of highest selling motorcycle (62 Units), showing that riders may continue to consider their leisure use and longer journeys this year, with a number of travel restrictions to remain in place. On a positive note, the sale of electric PTWs increased by 166.7% (180 units), as more products become available.

There is no doubt that the cessation of Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) has negatively impacted the sales of the smaller CC PTWs, despite the highest registering scooter, the Honda SH 125, managing sales of 159 units. NMDA has repeatedly highlighted the issue to the Government and indicated that there is a large proportion of riders who need to renew training in order to keep in gainful employment and many last-mile delivery services requiring new staff to cope with enhanced demand resulting from the latest lockdown.

Paddy O’Connell added: “Overall, NMDA members have expressed a positive outlook for 2021, with many budgeting for a strong year of sales as riders, both new and old alike, are expected to turn to PTWs for leisure travel and escapism.

“These ‘new’ riders will be critical to success in 2021. Attracting different age demographics to our products has long been a concern and we need to, as an industry, work further together to highlight all the benefits of PTWs”.

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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.