As we look towards the end of calendar year 2023, it appears to be a foregone conclusion that the motorcycle market is going to experience a contraction. Based on YTD September 2023 sales a forecast of slightly more than 30 000 new units is likely for the full year. This will be a decrease of 4.9% on comparative 2022.
Segment performance reflects that the commercial sector has experienced a 4% increase for the nine months ended September 2023. Scooters performed poorly with disappointing 39% decrease in sales, although about half of this can be attributed to a shift from scooters to small capacity geared motorcycles for commercial purposes. Small capacity leisure/commuter motorcycles also decreased by 30%. The higher priced leisure segments show an overall increase of 1.2%, which is largely attributable to the introduction of mid-sized and accordingly more affordable motorcycles during the period under review. ATV/Side x Side sales are down 10% compared to 2022.
Electric motorcycles and 3 wheelers continue to form a statistically insignificant portion of the market. However, the 246% increase in registrations over the past 9 months coupled to numerous new Brands appearing on the market indicate that there is a growing interest in EV, although there is still very little commercial traction.
Used motorcycle sales statistics are only available up to June 2023 YTD, which is up 6.5% on the corresponding period for 2022.
The industry view that trading conditions will continue to be tough, remains, given the presently high interest rates and likelihood of poor if any economic growth. There are also early warning signs that the commercial sector may be reaching a saturation point in terms of new unit uptake. Under the circumstances, no growth is expected for the rest of the year.