Rush to grab quad bikes and side-by-sides lift sales by 50pc

Buying spree lift sales of quad bikes and side-by-sides by 50pc

Machinery
FARMERS START THEIR ENGINES: Strong buying by farmers has given sales of quad bikes and side-by-sides a hefty lift in the first six months of 2020.

FARMERS START THEIR ENGINES: Strong buying by farmers has given sales of quad bikes and side-by-sides a hefty lift in the first six months of 2020.

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Quad bike and side-by-side sales climbed 50 per cent in the first half of 2020.

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Quad bikes and side-by-sides are literally roaring out of dealers' yards with sales jumping 50 per cent in the first half of this year.

Sales figures for the first six months of 2020 released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) revealed a hefty upswing in demand for new motorcycles, quads (ATVs) and side-by-sides (SSVs).

Overall, a total of 52,838 vehicles were sold from January to June compared with 42,457 during the same period last year.

"A year-on-year increase of 24.5pc is significant and signals improving conditions for both members and dealers," chief executive of the FCAI Tony Weber said.

The most popular segment during the half was the quad and side-by-side segment with a total of 14,545 sales compared with 9638 in the first half of 2019.

Off-road motorbikes reported 20,885 sales in the half year compared with 14,666 in the same period 2019.

"The ATV and SSV segment is up a remarkable 50.9pc and now represents 27.5pc of the total market," Mr Weber said.

"And off-road bikes are also on fire with an increase of 42.4pc and claiming 39.5pc of the total market," Mr Weber said.

Melbourne-based Mojo Motorcycles which distributes CFMoto, Kymco and Landboss quads and side-by-sides in Australia reported record sales in May and June.

A director of Mojo Motorcycles Michael Poynton said improved seasonal conditions, particularly in NSW, and the federal government's instant asset write-off to encourage business spending had helped trigger the sales surge.

Mr Poynton said the announcement from the likes of Yamaha and Honda they would withdraw from the Australian market rather than comply with mandatory rollover devices on quad bikes from October next year had also sparked some panic buying.

He said, however, that sales of CFMoto brand quads, which will remain in the market, have also been strong.

Mr Poynton said the sales boom in May and June had reduced stocks but the supply chain was recovering.

MORE READING: ACCC boss mystified by campaign against rollover protection on quad bikes

General manager of motorcycles for Honda Australia Tony Hinton said the company's ATV factory in the United States hadn't been impacted by COVID-19 and shipments were arriving each month but would not comment on the number of quads being imported.

Director and chief operating officer for Yamaha Motor Australia Brad Ryan said sales had exceeded forecasts for the first half of the year.

The improved seasonal conditions, tax write-off incentives and fears about the looming disappearance of some popular quad bikes from the market "has pretty much run everyone out of stock", he said.

"The coronavirus impact is marginal in terms of production. I can't speak for the other manufacturers but we've seen a small drop in shipments as a result of production challenges in the US.

"We have however also seen a coronavirus-driven huge spike in demand in the US and Europe for quads and that is impacting our ability to source extra units," Mr Ryan said.

"So it's a triple whammy - very high demand here, slightly less production than expected and high demand in other countries making it hard to source extra units.

"It's difficult to argue Australia should be a priority over other markets when Australia has regulated our quads out of existence," he said.

The FCAI's Mr Weber said the spike in sales of off-road bikes was thought to be a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"People can't go for overseas holidays and for quite some time they couldn't even go for holidays within Australia," he said.

"So we believe that instead of spending up big on expensive family vacations, people are treating themselves in different ways - and this could mean they are taking up new sports like trail bike riding.

"ATVs and SSVs are also popular and we understand this is due to the government's instant asset write-off program which makes the purchase of farm machinery and equipment very attractive at the present time," Mr Weber said.

Honda claimed the top spot year-to-date with 12,563 sales for a 23.8pc market followed by Yamaha with 12,344 sales for 23.4pc share, Kawasaki with 6545 sales for 12.4pc share, KTM with 4391 sales for 8.3pc share and Suzuki with 3594 sales for 6.8pc market share.

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