Sept. 6, 2010 – A first half report on on-road sales

An in-depth look at the U.S. on-road motorcycle market provides a sobering message: nowhere is safe.
All states are seeing continued declines in on-road bike retail sales in the first half of this year compared to a year ago, according to state registration data compiled for Powersports Business by R.L. Polk. & Co.
There is, of course, some difference in the extent of the continued drop off.
Largely, the states seeing the least drop off in terms of percentage declines are in the East, particularly on the East Coast. There are not, however, any geographic trends for those states seeing the largest percentage drop offs.
The study of the motorcycle market did not take into account states with fewer than 1,000 unit sales in the six-month period. It also did not include the off-road market.

Silver lining?

If there is a silver lining to the report, it’s the data reflecting the industry’s three largest on-road markets — California, Texas and Florida — and how the percentage drop has declined from a year ago.
Those three states last year suffered retail sales losses of at least 59 percent compared to 2008’s first half. This year, California, Texas and Florida all continue to see declines, but the dip is quite a bit less substantial. All three of those states are closer to a 25 percent decrease this year.
The states with the largest percentage decreases compared to a year ago are spread throughout the United States, with one coming in the Midwest (Minnesota), two in the East (Vermont and West Virginia) and two in the South (Oklahoma and Louisiana).
States that have seen the least drop off from 2009 are mostly found in the East, including New Hampshire, Virginia and Maine.
States that did not sell 1,000 units but still fared better than most areas included Alaska, Rhode Island and Hawaii.

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