Sales slide persists in March

Year-on-year sales down by a tenth

THE coldest March in half a century cast a chill on the UK powered-two-wheeler market, as the month saw an 10.8% drop in new registrations. But the weather could not be entirely blamed for the downward trend, as the March figures followed year-on-year falls of 14% in January and nearly 5% in February.

A total of 12,319 PTWs were registered in March 2013, compared to 13,815 in March 2012 (but with spring on the horizon and the biannual issuing of new numberplates, up from 4,092 bikes in January 2013 and 3,660 in February 2013).

The major categories all took hits - Naked down 11.4% to 2,95 units, Scooters down 9.9% to 2,263, Supersport down 13.3% to 1,990, Adventure Sport down 8.5% to 1,955. The Sport-Touring, Custom and Mopeds categories were also down by double-digit figures.

The only segments up were Touring (15.9% up to 538) and Trail/Enduro (14.9% up to 564). In terms of sales by engine capacities, only the 126-650cc segment grew (by 5.3%). The Over-1000cc segment stayed more or less flat with a small fall of 0.4%, but the 50-125cc and 651-1000cc segments fell by 14.8% and 17.2% respectively. 

Honda continued to lead the market with 2,657 new registrations, for a 21.56% share of the British market, and expectedly the best-sellers list was peppered with Honda models: NSC50 (Scooter - Moped & 0-50cc), CBF125 (Naked & 51-125cc), PCX125 (Scooter), CRF250L (Trail/Enduro), CBR600RR (Supersport & 126-650cc) and CBR1000RR (651-1000cc). 

Other segment toppers this month were BMW's R1200GS (Adventure Sport & Over-1000cc) and R1200RT (Touring), Harley-Davidson's Sportster 883 (Custom) and Triumph's Trophy SE (Sport/Tour). The latest-generation, partially-water-cooled R1200GS was the single best-selling model of the month, with 391 units registered.  

Yamah took second place on the sales charts with 1,414 units, followed by BMW (1,217) and Triumph (1,117).

The first quarter of this year has seen a total of 20,071 registrations, compared to 22,409 for Q1 2012: a change of -10.4%. 

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