Despite showing a rebound for 2011, and several brands posting strong growth over the past six months, industry-wide motorcycle sales in the United States grew only a modest 1.7% over the first six months of 2010. The news comes as Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki report continued sales decreases in 2011, and as the Japanese brands constitute a large portion of sales in the US, those losses have more than offset the record sales posted by smaller unit sellers like Ducati and BMW.
2011 itself has been a mixed bag for the motorcycle industry, as the first quarter saw a 7% increase (156,215 units) in year-on-year unit sales, though the second quarter was down 1.6% (158,686 units) compared to 2010. Scooters have been primarily driving sales, with 18,198 units sold in the first half of the year, posting a 29% increase for the market segment. Dual-sport machines also posted a strong 13% increase with 15,876 units sold, though off-road motorcycles were down nearly 17%, selling only 37,123 units. Streetbikes were neutral for the first half of the year, posting only 3.3% growth for the past six month with 187,565 units.
In all though, the United States motorcycle is showing a greater affinity than other markets for bouncing back from the recession, as sales figures in Europe are still posting massive losses in that market (Italy just posted a 23% decrease in July sales compared to last year). The collapse of the European market has affected virtually all large-displacement manufacturers, and is the driving reason for Yamaha Motor Europe’s withdrawal from the World Superbike Championship.
First Half Motorcycle Industry Sales in 2011:
*ATV sales figures do not include side-by-side vehicle sales.
Source: MIC via Motorcycle.com