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UK

12/01/2021

“A decline of -2.6% in the motorcycle market in a year like 2020 when we faced so many challenges is hugely positive as dealers’ performance exceeded all expectations”, said Paddy O’Connell, Head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA), which represents motorcycle dealers in the UK, commenting on the latest MCIA’s figures.

Despite the multiple challenges that faced businesses in 2020, the motorcycle market ended 2020 with a marginal -2.6% decline from the previous year. A total of 104,612 units were registered, just 2,796 less than in 2019.  Even with the additional restrictions and changes in regulations, motorcycle sales saw a ‘staggering’ 58.1% growth in December.

As consumers continued to choose two wheels to stay ‘Covid safe’ in their commuting, many last-mile delivery businesses required additional scooters and mopeds to meet the rising demand. All of this led to a 10.5% rise in scooter registrations for the year and only a 6.7% drop for motorcycles.

Continually strong performance through the year for adventure sport (-9.9%), sport/tour (-9.5%) and naked bike (-7.9%) segments, indicated that both new and old riders alike were still engaged and wanting to get onto new PTWs. BMW once again showed great traction with the R 1250 GS Adventure and the touring RT.

With no travel, less opportunity to eat/drink out, hardly any live sports or music to watch, one of the biggest winners were the Trail/Enduro bikes (-0.6%). With the KTM 300 EXC outselling the competition in this segment for December, it is encouraging to see that this side of the hobby and leisure market remained strong at the end of the year.

Total registrations for electric motorcycles increased by 51.2% compared to 2019. A final surge in December (+111.9%) showed that consumers are starting to adopt ePTWs as the technology improves and more models become available.

Paddy O’Connell added, “Just for a moment, transport yourself back to the confusion and disarray of the first lockdown in March. If you had asked whether dealers would be happy with registrations declining by -2.6% for the year, there would have been much scoffing and speak of ‘wishful thinking’, but that is exactly where we ended the year.

“Throughout the whole of 2020, motorcycle dealers have shown resilience and flexibility to meet the Government’s closure of foot traffic to their sites. With the lockdowns, tier changes, restricted business practices and all the other obstacles that PTW dealers took into the end of 2020, a 58.1% growth in December is simply staggering”.