ADP Lightspeed study shows time in service for used units
This study by ADP Lightspeed analyst Hal Ethington focuses on the length of time a unit is in service before reappearing and being sold as a used unit. The length of time between model year and sale date as a used unit are termed “Time in Service.”
Both U.S. and Canadian markets were included in this study, each broken down by either province, territory, or U.S. region. A further delineation is added between metric and V-twin units. Two areas of interest were studied: First, the model year most prevalent in 2013 sales of used units, and second, the length of time elapsed between model year and sale year when sold as used in 2013.
Model year 2009 was the highest selling model year among all used units sold in metric dealerships during 2013. They accounted for 14.1 percent of all used unit sales delivered during that year. Model year 2007 (6-year-old units) were the second highest at 13.9 percent of all used units sold.
It is interesting to note that for U.S. metric dealers, model year 2008 runs two percentage points behind 2009 and 2007 units, at 12 percent of all units sold. Ten-year-old units and greater account for less than 5 percent of sales for each model year.
Sales patterns for U.S. V-twin units differ greatly from that seen in metric dealerships. Whereas metric trades peak in the 4- and 6-year old range, V-twin is much more evenly divided between five different model years, where 1-, 2-, 4-, 5- and 6-year old units each account for just more than 10 percent of all used sales. Three-year-old units appear significantly less often, accounting for only 7 percent of all used sales in 2013.
Units up to seven years old produce 77.3 percent of all Canadian used metric sales. This same time period produces only 63.7 percent of all U.S. used sales.
As in the U.S., the majority of Canadian used metric sales are found in the 4- to 6-year old units. Those model years produced 44.4 percent of all used metric sales in 2013.
A standout in the Canadian V-twin market are the sales received in 2013 from 2007 units. That year accounted for 12.3 percent of all used sales in 2013. Closest behind were 2008 units at 11.1 percent. Units in the 1- to 6-year-old range accounted for 63 percent of all used sales.
Charts E, F, G and H
Time in service for motorcycles varies greatly between geographic regions. Charts E, F, G and H compare the average length of time a motorcycle is in service before being traded, with results reported first by market (metric or V-twin), and second by six U.S. regions and 10 Canadian provinces or territories.
We see that the shortest time in service before trade is found in Alberta at 2.7 years. The second shortest time is also in Alberta, where V-twin units are in service an average of 3.3 years before trade. The longest time in service is found equally in two regions: Ontario V-twin units remain on the road 7.2 years before being traded. The same length of time is recorded in the U.S. Midwest for metric units.
In the U.S., California is the region with the shortest service time for both V-twin and metric at 4.9 and 5.5 years, respectively. Weather and lifestyle may both contribute to this short turn time for motorcycles in that state. Compare this with the average for all states in the U.S. except California at 6.5 for metric, and 6.0 for V-twin.
It is interesting to note the range between short and long service times. In Canada, metric varies 4.2 years between regions. V-twin ranges 3.9 years between low and high. In the U.S., metric varies only 1.7 years between low and high, while V-twin varies only 1.5 years between regions.
1. Years In Service has been calculated as the sale date of the unit, compared to the model year. A 2010 unit sold in 2013 would show three years in service. Actual date of original sale and time in the dealership between trade-in and sale have not been recognized in this study. Used units selling for the second time have not been identified or excluded.
2. Unit size and class have not been part of this study. The time in service applies to all used units sold in the dealership regardless of class or type.
3. Model year 2013 units sold as used in 2013 were counted as zero years in service.
4. A total of 110,000 U.S. units were included in this study. Canadian units totaled 2,200. The number of U.S. units yields a high degree of confidence in the results presented, but the relatively low number of Canadian units returns a lower level of confidence.
5. The model year of all units was derived from the unit VIN number. The dealer applied model year was not used.
6. Average time in service has been derived as the total of all service years rendered by all units, divided by the number of units in that model year.
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