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Motorcycle sales have set a new record in the first quarter of 2008 as Australians continue to turn to two wheels in greater numbers.
Figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reveal that 30,460 motorcycles, scooters and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) were sold to the end of March - a 4.9 per cent increase on the same period in 2007.
"The motorcycle market has continued to grow so far this year despite the recent interest rate rises and signs of softer retail spending," said FCAI chief executive, Andrew McKellar.
Motorcycle sales hit an all-time high of 129,966 last year and over the last five years the market has grown by around 70 per cent.
"The increase of almost five per cent in the March quarter indicates that underlying demand for new motorcycles and ATVs remains strong."
"We are cautiously optimistic that sales will remain buoyant, despite the current uncertainties in the broader economic outlook."
The road bike market edged ahead of the off-road market in the first quarter, the first time this has occurred in several years.
The road bike segment recorded 11,580 sales to March, compared with the off-road segment's 10,687.
Cruisers continued its leadership of the motorcycle sub-segments with sales of 3334 ahead of Enduro (3114), 250cc road bikes (2571), Motocross (2512) and Sports road bikes (1869).
Honda just retained its number one spot in the total motorcycle market to March with 22.6 per cent share from Yamaha (22.3%), Suzuki (12.1%) and Kawasaki (8.2%).
Yamaha increased its lead in the off-road market with 34.2 per cent share ahead of Honda with 27.4 per cent.
Suzuki claimed third with 10.7 per cent and Kawasaki fourth with 9.6 per cent.
Honda dominated the road bike market with 21.1 per cent share from Harley-Davidson with 15.7 per cent and Suzuki in third with 15.2 per cent.
Yamaha was fourth with 12.0 per cent followed by Kawasaki (10.2%), Triumph (7.4%), BMW (4.0%) and Ducati (3.3%).
The scooter market declined by 3.4 per cent, and is now led by Piaggio with 15.1 per cent market share from Vespa (13.0%), Yamaha (12.0%) and Honda (7.7%).
Sales of ATVs rose by 15.2 per cent - the fastest-growing segment in the market - to 4386 units for the March quarter in response to easing of drought conditions in some parts of the country.
For further information contact:
Sheena Ireland, Communications Manager
P: 02 6229 8221
M: 0458 038 555