Now that the dust has settled on 2016’s second quarter we’ve found motorcycle sales in the U.S. are down 8.6% year over year. This is a huge step backwards because after a major decline during the recession, motorcycle sales had been inching back up year over year.
With more competition, aggressive financing, innovative product lines, and streamlined operations across the industry this is a bit of surprise. I believe many smaller factors are contributing to the slump in sales.
- Election/Political Uncertainty- The uncertainty of any election usually makes people think twice before they make any major purchase. This year, with social media and 24/7 news coverage people from both sides are probably feeling uncomfortable.
- Falling Gas Prices- This has a two prong effect. Particularly in the Midwest, falling gas prices have lead to increased unemployment. This in turn leads to a decline in recreational purchases, including motorcycles. Falling gas prices will also make other recreational purchases appear more affordable for many people. RV sales are surging partly because of this. Gas guzzling trucks and RVs are always more appealing when its cheaper to feed them.
- Weather- Parts of the country are experiencing a shift in weather year over year. For example, here in the Northwest, 2015 was one of the driest years on record and sales soared. This year has been one of the wettest and sales have suffered as a result.
These are only a few of what are probably many reasons industry sales are down. Whatever the reasons are, it’s Summer and I’m out enjoying my bike, I hope you are to!