Industry

UK motorcycle industry braces for the storm in March, sales down 22%

UK motorcycle sales slip in March as expected due to 'stay at home' coronavirus measures but certain manufacturers fare better than others

As expected, motorcycle sales in the United Kingdom for March have shown the early effects of the coronavirus lockdown procedure with figures down 22% year-on-year.

Though the slide was always inevitable after production plants and dealerships were closed in the wake of strict ‘stay at home’ measures being enforced nationwide on 23 March 2020, these figures from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) give us clues as to impact the motorcycle industry in the UK faces in the coming weeks.

Coming after Italy and Spain reported sales declines of 66% and 45% respectively, the United Kingdom has reported a less drastic decline, which is reflected by the fact the lockdown measures were only introduced deep into the month.

Even so, the timing isn’t ideal for the industry as March is traditionally a bumper month for sales with the change to the new ‘20’ registration plate.

Moreover, with lockdown measures set to stay in place for potentially the majority – if not all – of April, thE industry faces a difficult few weeks ahead to ride out this period without a change in the current climate.

All motorcycle segments were down by varying amounts; Adventure Sport (-29.9%), Naked (-22.3%) and Supersport (-22.2%).

The scooter segment, which has become one of the key tools at the frontline to ensure delivery services remain available, slipped -14.2%

The decline comes after a buoyant start to the year for UK motorcycle sales, which were both up year-on-year in January and February. As a result of the March figures, year-to-date (Q1) sales are now down -12.2% on 2019.

What are the best-selling motorcycles in the UK?

As ever, Honda maintained its position as the highest-selling brand in the UK, largely on the strength of its Honda PCX 125 [pictured above] scooter which remains the best-seller overall.

However, in terms of larger motorcycles, BMW enjoyed a strong March to move past Yamaha in the brand charts. Indeed, the BMW R 1250 GS was not far behind the PCX (272 units sold to the PCX’s 317) to top the Adventure Sport class, while the BMW R 1250 RT led the Touring category and the BMW S1000RR was the best-seller in the Supersport class.

Kawasaki also had a positive month with the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX [lead image] the best-selling Sport/Tour model, which in turn moved the Japanese marque to fourth in terms of bikes sold ahead of Triumph and KTM.

March 2020 UK Motorcycle Registrations leaders (by segment)

CATEGORYHIGHEST SELLING NEW REGISTRATIONSMar 2020
SCOOTER (MOPED)Lexmoto ECHO PLUS 50 LJ 50 QT-6L46
OTHER (MOPED)Lexmoto HUNTER 50 TD 50 Q23
SCOOTERHonda PCX 125317
ADVENTURE SPORTBMW R 1250 GS272
CUSTOMKawasaki Vulcan S 65067
NAKEDRoyal Enfield Interceptor INT 650161
SPORT/TOURKawasaki Ninja 1000 SX197
SUPERSPORTBMW S 1000 RR206
TOURINGBMW R 1250 RT89
TRAIL/ENDUROHonda CRF 250 LA103
RANKMAJOR BRANDSMar 2020
1Honda2,180
2BMW1,435
3Yamaha1,355
4Kawasaki1,312
5Triumph1,207
6KTM766
7Suzuki606
8Lexmoto553
9Harley-Davidson516
10Ducati421

Comments

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