Friday, October 21, 2011

3rd quarter US Scooter Sales Report

 The new 2011 MIC Flash report is out. Unlike some of the guys in the press who think this is good news I'm going to break it down compared to years past.

Sales were down in 2009, 2010, and 2011. 2008 also have a horrible 4Q. 
Overall new-unit retail sales dropped 5.0 percent for the third quarter and in September declined by 10.2 percent. What these figures don't show are the fact that many of these units were repurchased GE units from dealers that closed. It also doesn't indicate movement in the grey market or Chinese mainland units. It also doesn't count the fire sales from distributors that closed like the 3,000 United Motor Scooters that were taken to the auction by General Electric and Intercredit Bank of Miami when that company was forced to close. Many of those were Wangye, Hyosung, and other scooters that are not reported anywhere. Those 2008 and 2009 models sold in 2011 at lower prices, but they are only reflected in the state registration data. If you have any because in many states like North Carolina a scooter doesn't get registered. So scooter sales still say there is a 17.2% year on year change, but the truth is many of these were discounted models, buybacks, and liquidations for the bigger 5 main brands that report. Since I first started breaking these down for the industry not many people have paid attention to the direct correlation with electric vehicles.

The MIC posts numbers on a quarterly basis. The data applies only to 19 reporting manufacturers: Aprilia, Arctic Cat, BMW, Buell, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husaberg, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Polaris, Suzuki, Triumph, Vespa, Victory and Yamaha.

What's next?
If scooter sales continue to go down how will electric scooters in this country ( which are more expensive ) ever sell. We have manufacturer push, factories in China offering cheap credit, regional / municipal / federal incentives, but where are the US consumers? I doubt there is anyone in my immediate zip code riding a Current Motor, Vectrix, or ZERO Motorcycle. Why do I say this? Because thats the next phase of these registrations, they give us an indication of where the business is headed. Everyone is buying into the hype of EV units and without better reporting that's all its going to remain especially the three or four new EV Scooter brands that just entered the US market.

Scooters need better reports. We need customs reports so we know the real numbers of the SUNL, Jonway, QJ, ZNEN bikes being imported into the marketplace. We need real data on all new Electric scooters. Many dealers are stuck with Vectrix units they purchased back in 2008 that they can't sell. So adding VIN year, Taiwanese or Chinese branding to the dealer reports could help us have a more efficient MIC report instead of relying on a club where you have to pay a membership due to report your numbers. Make it free, make it easy to report, and involve the dealers so you know what brands are actually selling.

Just some advice to my friends in the business.....

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