Fires, floods, virus slam vehicle sales

Bushfire appeals help floods

January’s fires, followed by floods and concerns about coronavirus have wreaked havoc on new car and motorcycle sales in Australia.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) last week announced that new car sales were down -12.5% (71,731 vehicles) compared with January 2019, which was the worst sales-year since 2011.

Although the FCAI only publicly releases motorcycle figures on a quarterly basis, we have seen the results for January and they paint a similarly dour picture.

Total motorcycle, ATV and scooter sales were down -10.2% on January 2019 to 5581. This follows last year’s slump of -6.1%.

ATV

Off Road

Road

Scooter

Total

YTD 2020

YTD 2019

% CHAN

YTD 2020

YTD 2019

% CHAN

YTD 2020

YTD 2019

% CHAN

YTD 2020

YTD 2019

% CHAN

YTD 2020

YTD 2019

% CHAN

961

1022

-6.0%

1763

2140

-17.6%

2464

2595

-5.0%

393

456

-13.8%

5581

6213

-10.2%

KTM test ride demo motorcycle sales showroom selling motorcycles spiral
KTM rides out January slump

Total

YTD 2020

YTD 2019

% CHAN

Aprilia

10

22

-54.5%

BMW

222

202

9.9%

BRP Australia

148

181

-18.2%

Ducati

83

83

0.0%

Harley Davidson

486

498

-2.4%

Honda

932

1519

-38.6%

Husqvarna

213

148

43.9%

Indian Motorcycle

69

61

13.1%

Kawasaki

618

662

-6.6%

KTM

558

479

16.5%

Moto Guzzi

10

7

42.9%

Piaggio

52

91

-42.9%

Polaris

243

293

-17.1%

Suzuki

412

507

-18.7%

Triumph

178

152

17.1%

Vespa

77

78

-1.3%

Yamaha

1270

1230

3.3%

TOTAL

5581

6213

-10.2%

Road bikes

Australian road bike sales dropped 11.9% last year to drop behind off-road sales for the first time in as long as we can remember.

Road bikes are down another 5% in January, but they are now the biggest sector again thanks to a -17.6% crash in off-road sales.

Last year the only positive sector was scooter sales, but they have also slipped by 13.8%.

YTD 2020

YTD 2019

% CHAN

Aprilia

6

7

-14.3%

BMW

209

197

6.1%

Ducati

83

83

0.0%

Harley Davidson

486

498

-2.4%

Honda

296

417

-29.0%

Husqvarna

40

23

73.9%

Indian Motorcycle

69

61

13.1%

Kawasaki

272

399

-31.8%

KTM

158

104

51.9%

Moto Guzzi

10

7

42.9%

Suzuki

156

175

-10.9%

Triumph

178

152

17.1%

Yamaha

501

472

6.1%

TOTAL

2464

2595

-5.0%

Performing brands

Looking only at road bikes, KTM (51.9%) and Husqvarna (73.9% off a low base) continue to do well.

They have now been joined by Triumph (17.1%), Indian (13.1%), BMW (6.1%) and Yamaha (6.1%).

The big losers in January were Kawasaki (-31.8%), Honda (-29%) and Suzuki (-10.1%).

Harley-Davidson only lost -2.4% but narrowly yielded its crown as the top-selling road bike brand to Yamaha.sell buy test ride demo motorcycle sales showroom selling motorcycles dive

Fires, floods and virus

Since the figures are not officially released, there is no statement from FCAI boss Tony Weber.

However, he had this to say about the “conservative” new car results:

“Given the broad range of environmental, financial, international and political issues facing Australia during January, it is no surprise to see the new vehicle market has reported a conservative start to the year,” he said in a statement last week.

Those factors would include the bushfires, floods, hail storms, coronavirus and various other national and international political issues that have kickstarted the year.

Bushfires and floods have certainly stopped a lot of riders and along with the other factors have dented consumer confidence.

A dramatic 17.6% drop in off-road motorcycle sales could also be the result of the fire-ravaged rural community. However, drought-breaking rains may have the reverse effect in coming months.

FCAI figures

While the FCAI figures quoted are compared with like figures from the previous year, it should be noted that 23 minor manufacturers are not included in the FCAI stats as they are not members.

The missing brands are Benelli, Bimota, Bollini, CFMoto, Confederate, Daelim, EBR, Hyosung, Kymco, Laro, Megelli, Mercury, MV Agusta, Norton, PGO, Royal Enfield, SWM, SYM, TGB, Ural, Viper and VMoto.

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