A continuing downturn in motorcycle sales, as well as car sales, in the first half of the year has been blamed on the Federal election, floods, drought and tight financial lending.
There is little relief from the bleak news with road bike sales suffering the biggest loss of -17.7% as sales of all motorcycles, scooters and ATVs were down 11.4%, according to official figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
Honda was the overall market leader with a 24.2% share, despite sales down 11.8%.
It was followed by Yamaha with a 21.1% share (sales -11.2%) and Kawasaki with 10.7% share (sales -3.9%).
Following declining sales reports for motorcycles and cars, FCAI boss Tony Weber said:
Over the past six months we have seen various conditions and circumstances which adversely affected the market. These include a tightening of financial lending, environmental factors such as drought and flood, and a strongly contested federal election.
Despite the usual concern about elections, motorcycle sales actually slowed their slide from -14.6% in the first quarter, the biggest quarterly negative result since the GFC.
In the aftermath of the election there seems a more buoyant mood in the financial markets, although the global outlook is gloomy against a backdrop of trade wars, Brexit and continuing tensions over North Korea and Iran.
The most interesting result in the first half of this year was the massive -28.9% result for Honda road bike sales which crashed to third place behind Harley-Davidson and Yamaha.
Honda’s crash could be explained by the absence of postie bike sales, which is their staple. It could because Australia Post seems to be switching to electric trikes.
Interestingly, Harley sales were down another 19.4%, yet they returned to the lead in the road bike sales sector.
The only growth in road bike sales was by KTM which was up 9.1%.
Scooter sales also showed a substantial 18.8% increase after years of slides.
BMW nearly doubled its small sales, Honda was up 74% and Suzuki 48%.
Missing in action
While the above results are compared with the first half of 2018 with the same brands, it should be noted that 23 minor manufacturers are not included in the official FCAI figures.
They are mainly small-volume importers Norton, Hyosung, VMoto, Benelli, Bimota, Bollini, CFMoto, Confederate, Daelim, EBR, Kymco, Laro, Megelli, Mercury, MV Agusta, Norton, PGO, Royal Enfield, SWM, SYM, TGB, Ural and Viper.
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