Motorcycles join new cars in 2019 sales slump

The slowdown in sales of new cars is not due to a shift to motorcycles, the latest figures show.
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Official figures released yesterday have confirmed that, contrary to perception in our congested cities, the drop in new-car sales is not because motorists are switching to motorcycles.

According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), sales of motorcycles dropped by 6.1 per cent last year (to 89,199) compared to the new car market which dropped by 7.8 per cent (to 1,062,877).

However, figures from the last three years show motorcycle sales have decreased at a greater rate than new car sales.

From 2017 to 2019, motorcycle sales fell a total of nearly 25 per cent – averaging out to just over 8 per cent each year.

These numbers are in contrast to new car sales figures, which decreased by only 9.9 per cent over the same period – an average decline of 3.3 per cent each year.

Rhys Griffiths, motorcycle manager from the FCAI told CarAdvice: “I think the motorcycle industry is suffering from the same factors that the motor industry is. [There are] a lot of environmental influences. Sales of farm products (ATVs and SSVs) are being hit hard."

However, Mr Griffiths believes motorcycle sales will eventually recover. “We have exciting new products that can attract new people to the industry," he said. "There are about 2.1 million people in Australia who hold a motorcycle licence, but only about 870,000 registered motorcycles. We ... think that we can rebound from these circumstances.”

Motorcycle sales over the past five years:

89,199 sold in 2019, down 6.1 per cent

95,080 sold in 2018, down 8.7 per cent

104,111 sold in 2017, down 15.9 per cent

114,783 sold in 2016, up 6.6 per cent

108,711 sold in 2015, down 2.3 per cent

New car sales over the past five years:

1,062,867 sold in 2019, down 7.8 per cent

1,153,111 sold in 2018, down 3 per cent

1,189,116 sold in 2017, up 0.9 per cent

1,178,133 sold in 2016, up 2 per cent

1,155,408 sold in 2015, up 3.8 per cent

Top 10 selling motorcycle brands in 2019:

1. Honda – 20,819, down 8.4 per cent

2. Yamaha – 19,945, down 5.7 per cent

3. Kawasaki – 8962, down 4.4 per cent

4. KTM – 7670, up 2.3 per cent

5. Suzuki – 6934, down 8.2 per cent

6. Harley Davidson – 6462, down 7.9 per cent

7. Polaris – 5119, down 6 per cent

8. BMW – 2675, down 8.5 per cent

9. Husqvarna – 2555, up 13.5 per cent

10. BRP Australia – 2358, down 2.7 per cent

Source: FCAI.