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Motorcycle Sales Take a Hard Downward Turn Due to COVID-19

2020 Indian Motorcycle FTR rally

Is It Really Surprising?

Motorcycle sales had been slowing down, and then the Coronavirus pandemic hit, and they really took a nosedive. According to news reports, India, the world’s biggest motorcycle market has seen some serious drops. Some as high as 62 percent, according to The Hindu Business Line.

Hero MotoCorp was down 43 percent, Royal Enfield was down 44 percent, Bajaj was down 55 percent, and TVS Motor Company was down the most at 62 percent. The big foreign players in the Indian market were down a lot, too.  Suzuki, and Honda both saw notable declines in business, and other bike manufacturers saw drops as well.

European markets were down, too. According to Motociclismo, the market went from being up 14.4 percent in Italy to being down 66 percent when compared to the same month last year. Overall, for the year so far, sales were down 24 percent across Italy. Other markets in Europe fared a little better, but they still saw declines.

At this time, I’m not seeing much info about the North American markets since the COVID-19 outbreak, but many bike manufacturers had already reported a slow-down in sales ahead of the pandemic, and it would stand to reason that sales would be tanking in the U.S. and Canada as well. 

None of this is surprising. Many dealerships are closed, and people are supposed to be sheltering in place. It’s not a time to go out and buy a motorcycle, and I would expect that to continue until the pandemic ends or at least slows down and the economy opens back up. Judging by what health experts are advising, that could be a while out, still.

  1. It’ll only affect the dealers with stock on the floor, manufacturers will just halt production to ease the financial side. In fact, when the all clear is finally sounded, the lack of inventory may inflate prices.

  2. So my local dealer has shut his doors and now my “new dealer” is some 195 miles and a 3 hr ride. In that I ride an Aprila I should not be surprised. So it looks like for at least the basic things I will need to do it myself. But when the more complex service is required it will be at the least an overnite trip.
    So it is wise to look to the dealership network for your new bike, so that it can be serviced by those who are familiar with it. While I think the small and local service shops can do a lot of basic service, the major stuff that is dealer service.
    Yes it may well be a good time to purchase a new bike (low interest rates) keeping in mind as this Pandemic will have economic ramifications that few of us can predict. I am sure for those dealers still there they want to off load any and every thing they can (at fire sale prices) so as not to have to deal with it as the market falls.
    I personally find it sad for the small shops, and all of the folks they serve. Now we as a public can vote with our dallars for our dealers. We need to support our dealers now more than ever.

  3. I went to my local dealer to buy a 2020 Drz400sm and they told me on the phone it would be $7,000 out the door and then when I got there they said their manager wouldn’t aporive it and they wanted almost $8,000.
    I will keep looking. Now I see another dealer advertising $6,200 OTD in another state. Is it worth going out of state? Maybe

    1. $6,200 sounds like a good deal, Benjamin. MSRP on those is $7,399. Might be worth it out of state if the taxes and registration stuff doesn’t cost too much. I’d be curious to see what you’d end up paying overall. The DRZ400SM is a killer bike, but it ain’t cheap.

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