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.