Motorcycle sales in the first quarter of this year were understandably down, but only by 2.5% compared with countries such as Italy which is down 65% due to the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Australian market has also had to deal with drought, bushfires and floods over the same period.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries data shows 17,977 motorcycles, ATVs and scooters were sold during the first three months of 2020.
That compares with 18,438 in 2019 when sales were down 14.9% on the 2018 first quarter.
FCAI chief executive Tony Weber says the market has been “remarkably resilient given the circumstances”.
The 2.5% drop is surprising given total market sales were down -10.2% in the month of January following last year’s slump of -6.1%.
However, it’s still very tough for the dealerships which are staying open and trying various sales tactics as well as some offering free pick-up and delivery to service your bike.
The biggest dealership network, MotorCycle Holdings, which includes TeamMoto stores, has seen a dramatic drop in share price from around $1.80 in February to 64c.
Motorcycle sales by category
Road bikes and scooters reported a decline while off-road bikes and ATVs showed increases.
Taking over as market leader, Yamaha recorded a 21.1% share of the national market, followed by Honda with 20.3% and in third place, Kawasaki with 11.3%.
Scooters suffered the biggest fall, with a 14.1% decline in sales during the first quarter. In this segment, Honda held a 33.1% share, followed by Suzuki with 21.9% and Vespa with 17%.
Road bikes also suffered a significant 7.8% decline over the quarter. Harley-Davidson still leads the segment with a 18.9% market share, followed by Yamaha (17.7%) and Honda (14.1%).
Off-road motorcycles held their own with a 1.3% sales increase. Yamaha again topped the segment with 27.8% share, followed by Honda with 24.3% share and KTM in third place with 20.7% share.
The ATV/SSV segment was the biggest positive for the industry with an overall increase of 8% over the corresponding quarter last year. Polaris topped the segment with a 27.9% share, followed by Honda with 21.6% share and then Yamaha with 19.6% share.
Missing in action
While the above results are compared with the first half of 2018 with the same brands, it should be noted that 23 minor manufacturers are not included in the official FCAI figures.
They are mainly small-volume importers Norton, Hyosung, VMoto, Benelli, Bimota, Bollini, CFMoto, Confederate, Daelim, EBR, Kymco, Laro, Megelli, Mercury, MV Agusta, Norton, PGO, Royal Enfield, SWM, SYM, TGB, Ural and Viper.