Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Year in Review 2012 USA Motorcycle Sales

I had a call today about where I thought 2012 stood. It was not the great recovery many in the industry expected if anything a few more shops closed and a few distributors fell by the way side, but the worst appears to be over.

In the crisis about 500 Scooter Stores by our estimates closed between 2008-2012, but starting in 2011 there was a rebound of over 150 new shops in the country.

According to the MIC at least 15 percent of motorcycle dealerships have closed in recent years, but this includes repair centers, ATV / UTV shops, Big Harley stores, and of course mom-pop lawnmower shops. All sorts of stores that are not scooter related fall into that category because that's how the powersports industry works in the USA.

There has been an upswing in drop shipping, more home based repairmen, and car dealers doing scooters on the side, but there hasn't been a renewal of SCOOTER ONLY shops. 

U.S. sales of new motorcycles

1995: 309,000
2000: 710,000
2005: 1.1 million
2010: 560,000
2011: 555,000
2012: Up 1.3 percent through third quarter
Source: Motorcycle Industry Council of Irvine, Calif.

If 2011 was the end of the downturn, 2012 was clearly a return to stabalization. We saw it, I'm sure others in the industry saw it. We're hoping 2013 is the great leap forward. Nobdoy can expect numbers like back in 2006 or 2007 ever again. If anything companies that invested millions into the scooter market at the height in 2007 or 2008 are probably wanting to get out, but anyone that survived the US decline will surely do better in the next few years.

So 2013 might be the time to open a new store. Most cities now lack any real competition in the middle to upper luxury electric or scooter sales area. The fly by night Chinese only operations can pop up anywhere, but there is a need for new blood to take the place of shops that recently closed such as Noho or the Scooter Super Shops of America. https://www.thescootclub.com/noho-scooters-to-close these stores that were the standard in their local communities leave a void that is an opportunity for the right entrepreneurs.

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