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The British motorcycle market faces significant challenges in 2023 due to high inflation and weak consumer demand. In the first quarter of 2023, sales were down 0.5% as the industry benefited from deliveries of motorcycles ordered in the previous year.

The decline in 2023 sales

However, sales sharply declined in April and May, with April experiencing a 13.1% decrease and May seeing an 8.7% decrease. Year-to-date figures for 2023 show a 5.2% decline in sales compared to the same period in the previous year.

Month Sales (in units)
January10,234
February 9,828
March 9,542
April 9,838 (-13.1%)
May 10,879 (-8.7%)

The data shows the year-to-date sales of motorcycles in the UK in 2023:

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The market trend shows that while the overall motorcycles segment is growing by 1.3%, the scooter segment is declining significantly by 22.1%. This decline is particularly pronounced in the 2-50cc and 51-125cc classes, which are more affected by lower demand in metropolitan areas.

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Additionally, the electric L1 segment has experienced a decline of 52.8% due to the lack of available products. Many manufacturers announced the launch of new electric models in 2022, but these awaited models are not yet in the market, causing customers to hold off on purchases.

SegmentSales ( In Units)
Motorcycles 50,446 (1.3%)
Scooters 18,282 (-22.1%)
Electric L1 3,000 (-52.8%)

The data shows the sales of motorcycles in the UK by segment in 2023

Despite the challenging market conditions.

  • Honda remains the market leader with the highest sales, although they have experienced a 4.2% decline in year-to-date sales.
  • Yamaha is in second place but is also experiencing a decline in sales by 4.0%.
  • BMW is in third place with a positive performance, gaining 9.6%, while
  • Triumph is in fourth place with a 9.7% increase in sales.
  • KTM, Suzuki, and Gas-Gas have shown strong performances, with sales increases of 28.8%, 68.6%, and 28.4%, respectively

2022

Looking back at the British motorcycle industry in 2022, it also faced challenges due to the deteriorating economic environment in Great Britain. The economy experienced a decline month after month, and the country faced the possibility of a “technical recession” by the end of the year. Production was negative, and consumer spending declined due to record inflation and a lack of government support.

In 2022, the market initially showed positive signs, with sales increasing in the first half, driven by the electric vehicles and entry-level motorcycles boom. However, the market experienced a downturn in the third quarter, with a significant decline of 11.3%, followed by a 4.8% loss in the fourth quarter.

Sales were heavily impacted by manufacturers’ difficulties in supplying the network due to short production caused by raw materials costs and shortages, particularly in the area of the microchip.

Despite these challenges, full-year 2022 sales recorded a modest increase of 3.5%. The electric L1 segment saw a substantial increase of 81.2%, and the L3 segment increased by 13.8%.

Sales in 2022

In 2022, Honda led the competitive arena with 23,757 sales, representing a significant 20.3% increase compared to the previous year. Yamaha followed in second place with 14,829 sales, showing an 8.7% increase. BMW was in third place with 8,723 sales but experienced a decline of 5.6%. Triumph was in fourth place with 8,271 sales, experiencing a more significant decline of 10.4%.

Conclusion

The British motorcycle market faces challenging times in 2023, with high inflation and weak consumer demand impacting sales. Manufacturers also struggle to meet demand due to production difficulties caused by raw materials shortages.

The electric segment, although promising, is hindered by the delay in launching new electric models into the market. These factors contribute to an erratic sales trend and uncertain prospects for the industry shortly.

MD

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