2017 Australian Motorcycle Sales Figures have now been released and they detailed a cumulative total motorcycle/scooter/ATV sales throughout 2017 of 104,111.
2016 had seen the industry start to recover from the doldrums brought on by the GFC with 114,783 sales (all sectors). That was a very healthy increase over the 2015 figures, and the fifth highest sales result in the Australian motorcycle industry’s history. 2016 was also the industry’s strongest sales result since 2009.
Unfortunately that upwards trajectory did not continue in 2017. The year started poorly for most brands, with road bike sales down 15.5 per cent, and the dirtbike market down 15.3 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2016.
The industry responded with more stimulus by way of sales campaigns and the market dramatically improved in the second quarter, to be only 4.1 per cent down when compared to the first half of 2016.
The third quarter saw things again dip quite dramatically, the market 7.8 per cent down (all sectors), compared to the first three-quarters of 2016. The majority of the decline was attributed to poor road sales, down 14.9 per cent, while dirtbike sales had recovered somewhat to be only 5 per cent down.
2017 Australian Motorcycle Sales Figures
While down 15.9 per cent overall at the end of calendar year 2017, road motorcycles remain the strongest in number, 40,196 sales comprise 38.6 per cent of the total market.
Off-Road motorcycles sales ended the year 5.9 per cent down. 37,370 dirtbikes left dealer showrooms in 2017 and made up 35.9 per cent of the overall Australian motorcycle market.
ATV sales treaded water throughout 2017 to end the year with 22,684 sales, only fractionally down on the 2016 total of 22,834, and make up 21.8 per cent of the market.
Scooter sales continued to decline, however the pace has slowed somewhat with scooters sales down 13.2 per cent for the year, while making up only a slender 3.7 per cent of the total market.
Some positives to come out of the data is that kids bikes continue to perform strongly, with beginners bikes dominating the top five selling motorcycles in Australia, led by Honda’s CRF50F and Yamaha’s PW50.
Honda remains the highest volume seller with 23.2 per cent of the overall market share coinciding with an 8 per cent decline on what had been a very strong 2016.
Honda performed most strongly in their off-road models, Honda dirtbike sales were actually up 1.6 per cent, however, road sales were down 20 per cent. Total sales for Big Red were 24,166 across all categories.
Yamaha remains a strong second place despite a 14.1 per cent decline on 2016, with their road bike sales taking the biggest hit, 28.4 per cent down on the previous year.
Yamaha shifted 21,387 units across all segments for 20.5 per cent of the overall market.
Yamaha lead the dirtbike market despite an 8 per cent drop in off-road sales.
The battle for third place was a lot closer but it was Kawasaki getting that gong with 9,986 sales amounting to 9.6 per cent of the overall market. A
TV sales were up for Kawasaki while dirtbike sales went backwards to the tune of 8.4 per cent. Team Green road sales fared a little better with only a 5.9 per cent decline.
Suzuki were fourth overall and recorded 9012 sales for 8.7 per cent of the total market.
Suzuki actually picked up their scooter sales but fared not so well on their road bike side of the equation, 17.1 per cent down on 2016.
Harely-Davidson captured fifth place overall but took out #1 spot on the road motorcycle sales charts despite a 13.4 per cent contraction compared to their 2016 numbers. This clearly underlines just how much the discretionary spend is under pressure right now as, in Australia, Harley has very rarely gone backwards in any given year, thus that 13.4 per cent decline is particularly dramatic.
Their bikes are far better than they have ever been, but perhaps that focus on the hipster element has started to lose its lustre…
Harley’s Street 500, however, continued to grab the biggest slice of the learner market, despite a 29 per cent downturn in sales, while Harley’s second best seller, the FXSB Breakout, also took a 23.8 per cent hit.
KTM were sixth overall with the Austrian brand recording a 6.2 per cent improvement in road bike sales but a 17 per cent decline in off-road sales brought their overall figures back to 7590, a 12.5 per cent drop on 2016.
ATV specialist Polaris continued to defy the odds and picked up a 9 per cent increase in sales to rank seventh with 6583 four-wheelers hitting the land from the Polaris dealer network.
BMW were next best with 3039 sales amounting to an overall 8.2 per decline for the Germans.
Husqvarna were the star performers amongst the major brands in 2017 and rounded out the overall top ten with 2647 sales reflecting a 22.1 per cent improvement on 2016, which in itself was a 39 per cent improvement on 2015.
With a range of road motorcycles, including some avant-garde styled learner machines, on their way from the once Swedish, then Italian, but now KTM/Austria controlled brand, is gathering steam and if their road models prove a hit are likely to most past BMW in regards to sales volume within Australia.
BRP, sellers of Can-Am machinery throughout Australia, notched up 2416 sales which translated into a 4.3 per cent downturn on 2017.
Triumph shifted 2301 units in 2017, a 26.4 per cent downturn on their 2016 figures.
Ducati sold 1968 motorcycles to rank 12th. The Bologna brand recorded a modest 2.2 per cent decline in 2017.
Next best was scooter specialist Piaggio with 1016 sales which had them well ahead of Vespa’s 840 units scooting out the door.
Indian were 15th overall with 769 sales a 20.2 per cent improvement on their 2016 numbers.
Aprilia were 16th with a change of distributor, and the associated issues with such a massive change for the brand within Australia, saw a 32.5 per cent slump in sales. The same circumsances afflicted Moto Guzzi with the historic Italian brand taking a 32.7 per cent hit. These two brands are now building back to strength as new importer Peter Stevens stock up their inventory and marketing efforts after bedding down their new distribution deal with the parent companies.
The once strong Hysoung continued its slide in to obscurity, while neither Norton or VMoto recorded a single Australian sale in 2017.
Overall, not great reading as for dealers every less motorcycle sold equals less finance sales, less insurance sales, less accessory sales etc. etc. etc.
On the brand distributor side of the equation that means less money to spend on racing activities etc…
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