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US Motorcycle Sales Down in 2016, While UK Sales Are Up

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For many in the motorcycle industry, 2016 felt like an off year, and now we know that those feelings weren’t unsubstantiated.

Early leaks of the MIC’s industry sales figures for 2016 show that the US motorcycle market contracted 2.1% in 2016, erasing the modest gains made in 2015.

Meanwhile for our neighbors across the pond, things are going substantially better, with sales in the United Kingdom up 11.7% (128,644 registrations).

We will have to wait for all the motorcycle OEMs to report their final quarter sales results to know who are the big winners and losers of the 2016 sales year.

Though, we do know that KTM and BMW (up 5.9%) have shown signs of strong results internationally, whereas Duacti and Harley-Davidson are expected to post overall sales declines for 2016.

Not everything has been down in the USA though, as Polaris Industries has shown a strong 2016 in sales – though that didn’t keep their Victory Motorcycles brand from getting the axe this week, as Polaris focuses on its Indian and Slingshot brands.

In the UK, small-displacement machines ruled the roost, with nearly 40% of the bikes registered in 2016 being under 125cc – many of which were scooters.

This shows a strong trend for two-wheelers being used for urban mobility, rather than recreation – one of the key differences between the US and UK markets.

It does have to be noted that numbers from the UK benefitted from dealers needing to unload their Euro3 models, before they became illegal to sell in our now Euro4 world.

This likely meant discounts helped move some models, and could account for some of the sales gains in 2016. Still, this marks the third year in a row where the UK has posted double-digit growth in sales.

As such, sales in the UK are rebounding much quicker than they are in the USA, which is still operating at nearly half the volume it enjoyed before the recession. That should be something for the MIC to chew-on, as it makes plans for 2017.

Source: Powersports Business

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.

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