News MIC Forecasts Fewer 2012 Motorcycle Sales

MIC Forecasts Fewer 2012 Motorcycle Sales

2012-mic-forecasts-fewer-2012-motorcycle-sales

2012 Motorcycle Industry Council Business Advisory & Forecast

Through the gathering of statistical data such as 2011 sales numbers, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) predicts “modest declines” in new motorcycle sales through 2012.

This prediction arrives from the newly-designed MIC Business Advisory & Forecast, analysis that allows the organization to project future motorcycle sales. The advisory and forecast data was garnered in conjunction with the Institute for Trend Research.

This news arrives after many brands included in the MIC’s 2011 Retail Sales Report were up 0.3 percent compared to 2010. The MIC reports fuel-efficient models sold well, including scooters, which were up 11.8 percent, and dual-purpose motorcycles, which were up 14.2 percent.

But although positive data, other factors are predicted to slow the buying market in 2012.

Tim Buche (MIC President) says: “While our market stayed essentially flat last year, unemployment numbers and stagnant incomes are making consumers more cautious about large purchases.

“Even with low interest rates making this a great time to buy for many people, overall economic uncertainty is leading us to predict we’ll have fewer sales in 2012.”

However, Buche says the MIC forecast assumes the same amount of sales and marketing efforts on the part of manufacturers and distributors. They can influence and increase sales through production increases, through price changes, and things such as special promotions and captive financing programs.

The MIC will announce first-quarter 2012 sales on April 20.

The MIC says while new bike sales remained virtually flat last year, there was positive news within other aspects of the industry. Spending on maintenance and repairs has been rising since April 2010, according to the business advisory, suggesting that the market for consumers taking care of bikes they’ve long owned, or improving used bikes they’ve recently purchased, could continue to improve.

Recent tire sales also reflect this trend, as well as data confirming that owners are putting more miles on their motorcycles. The MIC’s Motorcycle Tire Sales Report shows that replacement tire purchases, among eight leading brands, rose 9.6 percent in 2011. Even off-highway tire sales increased by 11.7 percent last year, during the same time that sales of new off-highway motorcycles declined by more than 13 percent, the MIC reports.

Tim Buche says: “We’re seeing strong indications that riders are continuing to maintain their current motorcycles or upgrading ones they bought used, and we’ve recorded an increasing number of miles being ridden on American roads over the past decade. The interest in motorcycling is healthier than ever. That’s good news for our industry over the long term and this bodes well for retailers.”

The MIC reports that its new Business Advisory & Forecast also projects that ATV sales will decline this year. But this trend is being offset by a market shift to recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) that eclipsed 220,000 new unit sales in 2010, by some industry estimates. The MIC does not currently track ROV sales.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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