2020 continues to be a tough year for motorcycle sales, though it comes with the silver lining that brands have seen a strong summer and early fall in terms of customers buying bikes.
Today, we see early sales numbers from BMW Motorrad typifying that trend, as the German brand is reporting big gains for Q3 2020, to the tune of 20.9% (52,892 units sold to customers).
That good news is tempered by the bigger picture though, as BMW Motorrad is still off the mark for the year so far, having sold only 129,599 motorcycles in the first nine months of 2020 – a 5.4% drop compared to this time last year.
With many dealerships around the world closed for a series of months because of the coronavirus outbreak, motorcycle manufacturers lost out on some obvious sales (especially as the financial position of buyers changed during that same time period).
However, there has also been a shift in the timeline for some sales, with motorcycle purchases that would have taken place in the spring now displaced into the summer and fall.
We see that in BMW’s sales numbers, as well as those from other brands, with strong (if not record-setting) Q2 and Q3 reports, coupled to underperforming sales figures for the year-to-date.
The question remains, as we head into the colder months, will brands like BMW Motorrad be able to salvage the year with this continued surge in sales, or has the wave of bike sales already crested at the shore?
Furthermore, what will 2021 hold for the motorcycle industry? The global pandemic will easily carry onto next year, with some estimates pushing the timeline into 2022 before there is a global immunity to COVID-19.
This will certainly drag down the global economy, and here in the United States we have already begun to see the resitance to economic stimulus checks that helped buoy bike sales in the late Q1 and early Q2.
Early indications from some motorcycle brands show them bracing for another large recession.
For BMW Motorrad, it remains to be seen if the Germans can close the gap on 2020, and make this year its 10th consecutive year of record sales growth.
One thing seems for certain though, it will be a tall order for 2021 to be the brand’s 11th year in that trend.
Source: BMW Group