The Motorcycle Industry Council reports sales of new motorcycles have grown 6.7% in the first quarter of 2012. The encouraging news follows the MIC’s sober forecast in March that 2012 sales would decline
. The scooter segment leads the way in percentage growth compared to Q1 last year, with the On-Highway segment showing the highest volume increase. The positive news continues with ATV sales rebounding after multiple quarters of reduced sales. News isn’t so good for Off-Highway sales, which was the only segment to show sales decreases year-over-year.
The motorcycle market is up 6878 units in 2011. On-Highway sales have increased 6224, the 77,103 total an 8% gain from last year. Scooter sales, which typically follows a more volatile boom and bust cycle, is up 1054 units – a 16.9% increase. The MIC estimates notably does not include many scooter brands, pulling data only from its member manufacturers (BMW, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, the Piaggio Group, Victory, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha).
The Off-Highway segment lost 1252 units from 2011. The 6.7% OHV bike decrease doesn’t apply to the Dual segment, which enjoyed a robust 12.7% increase from last year’s quarter – with 7549 units so far.
The ATV segment gained 5% from last year’s Q1. The first-quarter turnaround is a welcome reversal of the segment's fortunes. The market had hemorrhaged consistent double-digit losses every quarter of 2011, with the ATV market losing 34,718 units on the year, an alarming 13.5% decrease. The MIC does not report sales of popular UTV/Side-by-Side vehicles – a market which has grown while ATV contracts.