2013 Motorcycle Sales Even Up in Q3

October 31, 2013
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Motorcycle sales for 2013 have pulled back to even with last year’s numbers thanks to a stronger third-quarter result. The Motorcycle Industry Council sales data records a slight 0.9% year-over-year gain for motorcycle sales in Q3, erasing the -5.2% decline registered through the end of the second quarter. Off-highway and Dual-sport sales have shown the greatest percentage gains, while the Scooter segment sales continue to lag.

The largest MIC motorcycle segment, On-Highway, has posted 274,578 unit sales to date – a modest 1% gain of 2719 units through Q3. Representing all street-legal bikes excepting Scooters and Dual-sport models, the On-Highway segment’s strong summer results eliminate the 10,199 unit -5.3% decline it registered at the end of Q2. That six-month tally was itself an improvement from the -16.2% year-over-year decline in Q1 – as the slow start to the year was blamed by various manufacturers, namely Harley-Davidson and Polaris, on the unseasonably warm winter and early spring in 2012 which contributed to an earlier buying season.

Summer sales helped across the board, with each MIC segment marking an improvement from Q2 projections. Even Scooter sales, which are down 5895 units for the year at 29,467, registered a -16.7% drop, better than the -23.3% YOY decline at the end of Q2.

Once again Off-Highway sales show the healthiest gains from 2012, now up 9.4% at 55,802 units total. The Dual segment, which also includes popular Adventure-Touring models, is back in the black – reversing its -3.4% decline through Q2 to an encouraging 7.9% YOY increase at the end of Q3.

ATV sales also reversed its second quarter YOY decline of -3.5%. To date ATV sales total 164,321, a modest 1406 unit and 0.9% increase for the year. Notably, the MIC does not include UTV/Side-by-Side sales data in its quarterly reports. 
The quarterly MIC sales report is compiled by information gleaned from its member brands: BMW, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, the Piaggio Group, Victory, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha.

  2013           2012           Change      %Change
DUAL  25,409 23,558 1851 7.9%
OFF-HWY  55,802 51,006 4796 9.4%
ON-HWY  274,578 271,859 2719 1.0%
SCOOTER  29,467 35,362 -5895 -16.7%
TOTAL  385,256 381,785 3471 0.9%
ATV  164,321 162,915 1406 0.9%

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