2011 motorcycle sales increase after two years of declines
Motorcycle manufacturers have finally ended their two-year sales slump. Purchases of on-highway motorcycles increased 7% in the first quarter of 2011 versus the same quarter a year earlier, according to a report released Wednesday by the Motorcycle Industry Council, a trade group in Irvine that represents power sports manufacturers.
Sales of scooters and dual-sport models were particularly strong, increasing 50% and 24% respectively, in the first quarter of 2011 versus the same quarter in 2010. The increase in fuel-efficient scooters and commuter-oriented dual-sport mirrors a trend from 2008 that saw such models increase in popularity along with increased gasoline prices.
Sales of off-highway motorcycles, however, continued their downward spiral, decreasing 5% for the quarter versus a year earlier.
Motorcycle sales began their precipitous drop-off in 2009, falling to 655,000 units that year after six years of 1-million-plus sales. In 2010, annual sales dropped to 440,000 units.
-- Susan Carpenter
Photo: 2011 Honda CBR250R. Credit: American Honda Motor Co.