The tide is turning

The August 11th Powersports Business magazine reports the following stats from the Motorcycle Industry Council: Powersports new-unit sales have dropped 8% since mid-year 2007. ATV sales dropped 23.4% in the same period, and off-road bikes dropped 19.7%. Meanwhile, dual-purpose bikes rose 24.3% and scooter sales increased by 65.7%.

What does this all mean? Clearly, people love Euan and Charley, and the hillbillization of America has finally come to an end, and Barack Obama will ride up the steps of the inauguration platform on a Kymco People 150. Sure, it won’t last long, it never does, but if it buys us a few years of education funding and global respect, it’s all worth it.

6 thoughts on “The tide is turning”

  1. Here’s to hoping that Obama watches the inauguration like the rest of us — at home, on TV.

  2. McCain don’t know how to work the remote; and Cindy’s porcelain hand got broken from a hillbilly vise-grip handshake. Looks like the McCains are staying home celebrating how out-of-touch they are with the rest of America next January, imo. Marcster, quit being a murderer of hope.

    Long live scooters!

  3. At the risk of turning this blog entry into a political debate, let’s just say that “we agree to disagree”.

    But McCain wouldn’t be my first choice either.

  4. Back on track people!

    One aspect of the Powersports news posted here is that only the larger scooter distributors report to the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC). These are the Japanese motorcycle companies (who also sell scooters) and Piaggio. To this day, I believe Genuine, SYM and Kymco still don’t report their sales to the MIC. It costs money to join this club. And these are all of the bigger “above board” importers. If you include all of the smaller scooter import businesses, my guess is that scooter sales increase is probably exponentially higher. Like, just look at the new bikes on the street they’re mostly all scooters.

    Also there are way fewer grey market/mom-and-pop motorcycle importers in the U.S. Most all of the motorcycle distributers report data to the MIC. So again this skews the data.

    With regard to Bryan’s reference to the decline of hillybilly America, I wonder if the true die hard Harley enthusiasts are loving things these days? Maybe the crash of the cruiser market makes for good pickings of older American iron.

  5. You’re correct, Dave, I should have pointed that out.

    Genuine reported well over 100% increase in sales. I bet they’re outselling Honda or Yamaha scooters in many markets. (I think Piaggio belongs to the MIC, but I’m not sure. It is sort of a mysterious organization, but it’s sort of the only (secondhand) source for sales data. Other countries list new registrations, which is a better metric (though lots of motorcyclists and even more scooterists tend not to be entirely legally on the road), but I’ve never seen that data on a nationwide scale, probably because the DMV is run at the state level.

  6. As nothing is made here, wouldn’t customs have this sort of data. They should if they are checking what comes in at all. If they check, they have to know if stuff is for on- or off-road use. That surely doesn’t dictate what is sold, but it could be a better indicator that would include all the brands, regardless of membership in industry organizations.

    Is there a national association of DMVs? There are several national associations for state agencies. I wouldn’t doubt if there is one for DMV-types. Bureaucrats love a good national meeting.

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