In the Australian market, the motorcycle industry is taking a positive turn moving into the fourth quarter of 2023. In total, from January to September, 2023, 68,572 units have been sold. This figure comprises motorcycles and Off-Highway Vehicles (such as off-road motorcycles).
According to a report by Australian publication MCNews.Au, this represents a slight 2.3-percent decline versus the same period last year, but represents a slight arrest in the decline of sales figures which registered a 5.9-percent drop in the first half of 2023. The best part is that there appears to be a resurgence in sales across all market segments ranging from road motorcycles to off-roaders, and even scooters. While the numbers mostly represent declines versus the same period in 2022, it’s worth noting that rising cost of living and interest rates have seen the purchasing power of a lot of Australians take a hit this year.
Looking at things on a per-category basis, road motorcycles made up 37.7 percent of all sales with 25,952 units sold. This marked a slight 1.1-percent decrease versus the same period in 2022. Meanwhile, off-road motorcycles made up the biggest chunk with 39.6 percent or 27,212 units sold. Nevertheless, the market contracted by 5.9 percent in 2023. Scooters contributed 6.4 percent in total sales with 4,413 units sold. Interestingly, however, scooters saw an impressive nine-percent sales growth versus the same period last year. Meanwhile, OHVs remained stable at 16.2 percent of the market with 11,175 units sold.
It’s interesting to note that scooters have been picking up steam in the Australian market. These compact two-wheelers are popular in Europe and Asia thanks to their practicality, efficiency, and affordability – things that Australians are taking notice of. According to Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Chief Executive Tony Weber, scooters present themselves as attractive urban mobility options. “Although Scooters are a small portion of the overall market, it was important to note the significant increase in sales compared with 2022,” he told MCNews.Au.
Weber explained how the current economic climate has stifled a lot of Australians’ buying power, “This is a turnaround from the results we were seeing during the first six months. The economic environment continues to impact sales of motorcycles and scooters as people deal with cost-of-living pressures and rising interest rates. However, motorcycles and scooters continue to be a viable option for personal transport, often ideal for short journeys along with reducing traffic congestion.”
According to FCAI data, Yamaha is currently on top in terms of sales figures, while other big players, namely Honda, Kawasaki, and KTM, follow closely behind. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that this report doesn’t paint the whole picture when it comes to the Australian motorcycle industry. Some brands, particularly newer brands, aren’t represented in the official audit figures, as they choose to keep their data confidential. New players in the market, especially those from Chinese manufacturers, have also been making quite an impact in the Australian market.