National motorcycle sales have set a new record in the first half of 2008 as more Australians turn to two wheels for transport and recreation.
Figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reveal that a record 64,186 motorcycles, scooters and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) were sold to the end of June 2008, a 6.6 per cent increase on the same period in 2007.
"It's encouraging the motorcycle market continues to show resilience in the face of higher interest rates and general economic turbulence," said FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar.
"The increase of over six per cent for the first half of 2008 demonstrates that the demand for bikes, scooters and ATVs has remained quite strong."
The road bike market edged ahead of the off-road market yet again, posting strong growth of 9.1 per cent.
The road-bike segment recorded 23,994 sales to June, compared with the off-road segment's 22,847.
After experiencing a drop of 3.4 per cent in the March 2008 quarter, the scooter market bounced back strongly to record 7.6 per cent growth for the six months to June with sales of 7613.
"The resurgence of the scooter market reflects commuter concerns over the prospect of rising fuel prices," Mr McKellar said.
"The recent spike in pump prices has no doubt played a part in the turnaround in scooter sales since the March quarter."
Cruisers retained leadership of the motorcycle sub-segments with sales of 6765, ahead of Enduro (6538), 250cc road bikes (5061), Motocross (4899) and Sports road bikes (4260).
Honda strengthened its grip on the number one spot in the total motorcycle market from the March quarter result to claim 23.9 per cent share for the first six months of 2008, ahead of Yamaha (21.2 %), Suzuki (12.9%) and Kawasaki (8.5%).
Yamaha's lead in the off-road market has been pegged back but it still dominates with 32.7 per cent share ahead of Honda with 29.6 per cent.
Suzuki claimed third place with 11.9 per cent and Kawasaki fourth with 9.0 per cent.
Honda dominated the road-bike market, achieving 21.2 per cent share ahead of Harley-Davidson on 16.2 per cent. Suzuki was in third place with 16 per cent.
Kawasaki secured fourth position in the road-bike segment on 11.2 percent, displacing Yamaha to an 11.0 per cent share, followed by Triumph (7.2%), Hyosung (4.5%), Ducati (4.1%) and BMW (2.9%).
In scooters, SYM led the way with 14.6 per cent market share ahead of Piaggio (13.2%), Yamaha (11.9%), Vespa (10.2%) and Honda (7.5%).
Sales of ATVs rose by 10.3 per cent â€“ the fastest-growing segment in the market â€“ to 9732 units for the June half year, down from the exceptional growth of 15.2 per cent in the March quarter.
Agricultural models accounted for 78 per cent of total ATV sales.
For further information contact:
Sheena Ireland, Communications Manager
P: 02 6229 8221
M: 0458 038 555