Cycle World – The Pandemic Paradox: Motorcycle Sales Are Up
Despite economic downturn, powersports sales have been surprisingly robust.
The streets are quiet. Supply chains have disintegrated. Unemployment is at record highs. The equity markets are schizophrenic in the best of weeks. So it would stand to reason that all economic indicators and consumer spending in particular would be down for the year as well; a major contraction would certainly not be unexpected.
Well, that’s true for the most part, but actually—and perhaps counterintuitively—motorcycle sales are up. You heard that right. Across the board, retail sales for the last three months have shown a steady uptick. It’s more obvious in certain segments but the trend is undeniable; year-to-date powersports sales are better than they’ve been in years. Can you say pandemic paradox?
The surprising news came in early June, when the smoke cleared and the Motorcycle Industry Council reported that year-to-date retail powersports sales were better than they’d been in the past three years. “The powersports industry is in a much more positive place than where we thought we’d be earlier this year, when the full impact of the pandemic began to come into focus,” MIC President and CEO Erik Pritchard said.
Forbes – Can Coronavirus Help Rev Up Harley-Davidson?
For Harley-Davidson, the coronavirus initially led to production and dealership shutdowns and lower sales, but the pandemic could very well also help the iconic American motorcycle label—struggling with five straight years of declining U.S. sales—regain its cool factor.
Credit that to the new social-distancing penchant that has driven increased demand for different outdoor pursuits from biking to running. A case in point, Commerce Department reported on Thursday sporting goods and other hobby retailers posted a 21% jump in June retail sales from a year earlier, a rare bright spot among retailers that sell non-essential items. In another example, April U.S. sales of bicycles topped $1 billion, a record level, about double the average for the month, according to NPD Group.
“The ‘outdoor play’ seems to have made its way to Harley-Davidson in terms of increased demand,” said Wedbush analyst James Hardiman in a report on Thursday.
“Perhaps the positive by-product of this terrible pandemic is a renewed interest in the open road,” BMO analyst Gerrick Johnson said Tuesday.