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Motorcycle Industry Council Says Sales Stayed Strong Despite COVID-19

motorcycle industry council

Some Good News

The Motorcycle Industry Council held a webinar yesterday and in that webinar, the MIC leadership told attendees that powersports sales managed to stay high despite the fact that COVID-19 has caused all sorts of disruptions. This should come as a surprise to many due to the fact that the economy around the world has taken a major hit.

While the council didn’t provide exact numbers in its presentation that I saw, it did provide a couple of handy graphs, which I’ve included here for reference. According to Erik Pritchard, CEO and president of the MIC, the reports the council is getting indicate that sales are up in 2020 even after COVID-19 hit hard in March. 

He said that there was a bit of a slowdown, but even with that, the sales were higher for this time this year than they were in 2019. He noted that for March and April, and said he believes the same will be true for May. 

I found this surprising considering many motorcycle shops closed down due to the pandemic. Pritchard did say that he is only going off the numbers the MIC has and their numbers may not be all-inclusive (some things slip through the cracks), but that they should be more or less on track.

It will be interesting to see reports of sales for May in the future from manufacturers to see if they coincide with the MIC’s findings.


  1. Wade, MIC doesn’t report on sales, they report on bikes shipped to dealers. That’s all they do. So all they are saying is that the industry has shipped a lot of bikes to dealers that were closed anyway. Whether they sold any is anyone’s guess.

    1. Hi Nick, thanks for the info. Why they called them sales, then? They talked about them as if they were sales and made mention of dealers saying sales were up. I get that there’s a major difference, and perhaps the MIC should make that distinction in their presentation.

      1. To quote dealers, that would be valid. It’s possible some dealers in areas less hit by COVID did OK. But MIC is not a dealer reporting org, they are brand reporting council. But all so called sales in the US for automotive are units shipped to dealers. This is why almost all brands (car or bikes) try to ship a lot of vehicles to dealers toward the end of the year to boost their numbers. If you have an in with MIC you could contact them and get clarification on this.

        The practice of boosting numbers is called Sales Punching. But also just packing dealers with lots of bikes (or cars) will show bikes “sold” by the brand to the dealers on reports.
        “The regulator is looking into whether the Munich-based auto maker engaged in a practice known as sales punching in the U.S.. Sale punching occurs when a company boosts sales figures by having dealers register cars as sold when the vehicles actually are still standing on car lots. “

  2. Wade,

    Thanks for sharing the news about the MIC webinar last Thursday. Your reporting is correct — the information I shared reflected combined retail sales of motorcycles, ATVs, and ROVs for January-April, not “bikes shipped to dealers.” There is good reason to be upbeat about the powersports industry, but all of us still have a lot of work to do. Best wishes.

    Erik Pritchard
    MIC, President & CEO

    1. Hi Erik,

      Thanks for the clarification on the sales numbers. I thought that was the case. Excited to see what’s to come for the industry. I agree there is still a LOT of work to do, but I’m happy to report on any good news right now.

      Looking forward to future webinars. Cheers!

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