2008 Motorcycle Sales Above 1 Million.

harleyshowroomSurprisingly, the number of 2008 USA motorcycle sales released by the MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council) is pretty good. Yes, the total retail sales declined from 2007 (minus 3.3%), but with more than 1,087,000 motorcycles and scooters sold, 2008 is the sixth year in a row that sales pass the benchmark of 1 million.  And of course, scooters with a total of 220,000 units sold, represented a higher percentage of the total sales.

It’s in 1975 that the motorcycle industry registered its largest number of sales with 1.5 million motorcycles sold. MIC study confirms that women represent an all time high of 12.6 % of motorcyclists (personal note: if it includes only titles registered in a woman name, the percentage of women on the road is evidently higher). MIC warns that all these numbers are preliminary because there are some distributors and manufacturers not included in the  monthly figures. The Council collects monthly sales figures from Harley-Davidson, Buell, Ducati, BMW, Triumph, Victory, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM,  Suzuki, and Yamaha.

8 Responses to “2008 Motorcycle Sales Above 1 Million.”

  1. 1 Nicker Mar 22nd, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    “…2008 is the sixth year in a row that sales pass the benchmark of 1 million…”

    So does that mean most OEM dealers are not at risk…???

    And only V-twins are having it tough in this market…???


  2. 2 Grayhawk Mar 23rd, 2009 at 7:42 am

    It may lend some ensight into what your asking if the numbers could be broken down showing U.S. and Europeon sales versus India, China and other region sales, reflecting 750cc and larger versus smaller cc bikes and scooters. Guess is the India and China growths especially scooters /small cc units may be a substantial percentage of total number growth over last year.
    Regards Grayhawk.

  3. 3 Mark Mar 23rd, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    This is interesting, the more the merrier but I do not think we can compare the numbers with India and China where owning a motorcycle is a necessity for middle class, for us here it is more of a hobby.

  4. 4 James (Kiwi) Mar 23rd, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    In NZ and Aus I am pretty sure HD had a record 2008 with more sales than ever.
    Even this year When I was in McIvor and Vietch in Dunedin NZ (Worlds Sourthern most HD dealer.Which HD even lets them put on their T-shirts) the sales had been ok so far but we are now going to into winter so will see a drop off.
    Many countries did not get into the big long bike choppers.The sales in those countries will not drop as much. People see the Choppers as a bike that drops quickly in value and not suitable for tight twisty and some times bumpy roads.They were seen as a toy for the rich and of people that did not ride, only pose.
    That is here, not the USA.Every country has a different market ,but markets change and evolve with social, economic and legal pressures.

    James (Kiwi)

  5. 5 Grayhawk Mar 23rd, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Understand your points Mark and James, I was just acknowledging that the OEM’s for the most part sell Worldwide and as such their viability is as sound as their over all unit sales.

    If the MIC number is a total worldwide number ?? , than all these regions and their sales numbers and types/size of bikes reflect what is selling where and contribute to total sales/revenue, if someone has that breakdown if would shed some light on our specific regions and as such each of our parts of that number.
    The other point within that breakdown is here in the US because of last year gas price escalation scooter sales have increased as well as economically priced bigger bikes just not as much as those other regions that its basic transportation and growth.

    In respect to regions, specifically India and China, Mark your point that they rely on scooters for dailys is right on just adding to those numbers whereas their tremendous growth cycle 20% +/- and unit sales that fall in line with that growth. Consumption of everything in those regions is doubling every couple of years which may be scary in a few years.

    It is good to hear the sales are up downunder, James which is part of my point of comment.

    We are all more into this together than most acknowledge and should try to feed off each other no matter what brand or type.

    Hope this makes my original comment a bit clearer.

    Two Wheels is what it is about.


  6. 6 Cyril Huze Mar 23rd, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Grayhawk. These numbers i my post are USA numbers.

  7. 7 Mike Mar 23rd, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    1 million units will be for only the North American market…. the only thing about the MIC’s numbers is that I believe they lump in offroad (dirtbike) and I also they lump in scooters.

    It would be interesting to know how many of the sales were scooters and how that relates to last year. I have heard dirtbike sales have been down more than bike sales, but I would imagine scooter sales would be up, maybe even WAY up, because early in 08, gas prices were very high.

    As for India and Asia, most American bikes have cult followings there the same way bikes like Urals have in the USA. They are generally status symbols. I don’t think American bikes are going to crack the Asian market when they are competing with Honda Dreams and $1000 Chinese scooters. But at the top end of the market, as a status symbol, they will do well, provided Harley can keep their image intact, which I believe they can.

  8. 8 Grayhawk Mar 23rd, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks for the confirmation

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Cyril Huze