Industry

Australian Motorcycle Industry finishes 2011 in strong position

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Motorcycle sales in Australia continued to grow significantly in the final months of 2011, according to official figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

A total of 109,067 new motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and scooters were delivered to customers during the full year 2011, an increase of 3226 motorcycles (or growth of 3.0 per cent).

31,938 motorcycles were delivered in the fourth quarter alone (between October and December), compared with 26,750 in the third quarter.

FCAI chief executive Ian Chalmers said the recovery of motorcycle sales was encouraging given some recent years of soft sales nationwide.

"While sales of road and off-road motorcycles have remained reasonably static throughout the year, scooter and all-terrain vehicle segments have continued their impressive growth again this year," he said.

"The 18.4 per cent growth in ATV sales is somewhat indicative of the recovery of rural economies nationwide, where these motorcycles are most popular.

"8.9 per cent growth in scooter sales continues to highlight the popularity of these modes of personal transport, as motorists seek to avoid high petrol prices and increasingly congested metropolitan roads," he said.

A total of 22,428 ATVs were sold in 2011, up 18.4 per cent (or 3486 units).

More than one in five motorcycles sold last year was an ATV.

The scooter segment finished the year with 11,374 sales, up 8.8 per cent (or 929 scooters).

Sales of road bikes recovered strongly in the fourth quarter, finishing the year 1.4 per cent ahead of 2010 with 38,628 sales.

The only segment not to grow in 2011 was off-road motorcycles, with sales volumes declining 4.5 per cent (1735 sales).

Mr Chalmers said despite the decline in off-road segment sales, seven of the top 10 motorcycles remain off-road dirt-bikes.

"Australians continue to embrace motorcycling as a favoured recreational activity, and off-road motorcycles fill this role particularly well.

"The off-road segment remains the second largest, accounting for 36,637 sales, almost 34 per cent of the total market," he said.

Motorcycle sales in Australia peaked in 2008, with 134,279 motorcycles delivered to customers that year.

Japanese manufacturers continue to dominate sales. Honda was the number one brand, delivering 24,024 motorcycles to the end of December.

Yamaha was in second position with 20,152 sales, followed by Suzuki (13,671), Kawasaki (9745) and Harley Davidson (6427).

Honda's CRF50F was the most popular single model (2982 sales), followed by long-time favourite the Honda CT110 model, sold almost exclusively to Australia Post as a delivery bike.

Honda's CBR250R was the country's most popular conventional road bike with 2172 sales.

Mr Chalmers said the industry was looking forward to 2012, with an optimistic outlook for both sales and wider industry issues.

"With favourable conditions continuing across regional areas, coupled with stable economic outlook, we see sales growing further in 2012," he said.

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