Things continue to look bleak for the power sports industry: in 2009, sales plummeted nearly 41% from 2008 numbers, but it was easy to explain why. The U.S. economy had taken a turn for the worse, credit was all but unavailable and few of us had disposable income for luxury purchases such as motorcycles. In 2010, the auto industry experienced a turnaround, so it’s only natural to assume that motorcycle sales followed; surely 2010 couldn’t be as bad as 2009. Sadly, it’s worse.
Data released by the Motorcycle Industry Council and reported by Hell For Leather shows nearly a sixteen percent drop in 2010 sales as compared to 2009. Counting all on and off-highway sales, a mere 439,678 new bikes were sold in the U.S. market last year. To put things in perspective, you’d have to go back to 1998 to find sales at that level. It’s not all doom-and-gloom, since several manufacturers are reporting increased sales in Q4 2010 versus Q4 2009. Ural, the Russian manufacturer of sidecar-equipped BMW R71 clones, even posted a slight sales growth in 2010. The optimist in me wants to believe that the power sports industry is just a year behind the automotive industry, so perhaps we’ll see growth in 2011. If we don’t, I seriously wonder which companies will survive.
Source: Hell For Leather