Motorcycle sales in SA declined just 1% in 2020, despite the pandemic. Picture: SUPPLIED
Motorcycle sales in SA declined just 1% in 2020, despite the pandemic. Picture: SUPPLIED

While the SA car industry suffered a 29% drop in sales in 2020, motorcycles weathered the Covid-19 pandemic much better and declined just 1%.

“Following the devastating effect that Covid-19 had on the South African economy during 2020, it would have been reasonable to expect the motorcycle industry to suffer along with everybody else,” says Arnold Olivier, National Director of the Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors (AMID).

“In some respects it did, but the pandemic had the unexpected consequence of accelerating the ever increasing commercial delivery business to the extent that the new motorcycle market declined by only 1% compared with the previous year.”

The year ended with 20,644 new motorcycles being retailed compared with 20,862 in 2019.

While the increase in the commercial two-wheeler segment was gratifying, the leisure segments experienced swings from as much as 22% growth to a 38% decline, ending on an average of 15% down on 2019, said Olivier.

“The Quad/Utility segments experienced an overall decline of 9%, which is largely attributable to the lost opportunities created by Covid-19 as production schedules and supply chains were disrupted, creating a shortage of product.

“Although insignificant in terms of volume, the SA market has also seen some growth in electric motorcycles and three-wheelers. Time will tell how the South African consumer reacts to this.”

AMID does not reveal sales figures by brand or model range.

The association was also unable to comment on the used motorcycle market as monthly sales statistics are not available for all trading months of 2020. Anecdotal evidence suggests that used sales became stronger towards the end of the year, said Olivier.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.