Motorcycle sales soar, bucking declining new-car trend

Motorcyclists got on their bikes and rode in 2020

More people got on their bikes in 2020 than in the previous 12 months, with a buoyant full-year sales report for the motorcycle industry bucking the decline in new-car sales for the same period. 

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the peak body for the automotive industry in Australia, has released sales for motorcycles and off-highway vehicles (OHVs) for the full year 2020 showing a healthy increase on 2019 sales.  

By contrast, new-car sales finished the year down 13.7% or 145,899 vehicles on 2019, despite a strong market turnaround in the final months of the year that softened the overall decline. 

Total motorcycles and OHVs sales for the year were recorded at 108,926 units, an increase of 19,727 vehicles and 22.1% on full year 2019 when 89,199 sales were recorded.

Within the different segments, OHVs demonstrated the strongest growth, up nearly 39% or 6950 vehicles on 2019, to record total sales of 24,856 vehicles.  

Off-road motorcycles also recorded strong growt, with 44,697 vehicles sold during the year – a 30.3% increase on the 2019 calendar year when a total of 34,298 units were sold.

Road bikes also increased their sales with 34,912 units sold during 2020, representing an increase of 9.2% or 2,931 units on calendar year 2019.

Scooters were the only segment to record a decrease with a total of 4461 units representing a decline of 11% or 553 units on the category’s 2019 sales.

Chief executive of the FCAI Tony Weber said the increased sales were welcomed by the industry.

“Given the difficult market conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reassuring to see segments of the market continuing to perform well,” Mr Weber said.

“The rise in popularity of personal transport in this segment demonstrates that OHVs, off-road motorcycles and road bikes were a preferred option for many recreational and commuting activities during the year.”