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www.britishdealernews.co.uk British Dealer News

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Key business information for the UK motorcycle and scooter industry • Dec 2020/Jan 2021

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+PLUS+ Free 2021 Wallplanner TT cancelled Container chaos Focussing on finance Business Beat: It’s a family affair Electric Trade Talk BSA back in business Reaction : “the best deal”

Glaswegian dealer group rescued. Full report page 10

DfT & MCIA data on registrations

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Dec 2020 Jan 2021 : Issue 234

the news 4 Dutch Distributor buys Putoline 6 Stock shortage? 8 BSA back in business 10 DMG acquire Scottish dealer 12-16 Electric Trade Talk 18 Container congestion chaos 19 IOM TT 2021 cancelled 22 On the move – Polaris boss quits 24-27 International News 28 Off-road news – “unbloodybelievably busy year”

4

Fleet Auction Group buyers guide

12

32

the business

the knowledge

44

30 REACTION Here we go again 32 FINANCING THE DEAL How new FCA rules will affect POS finance 38 LS2 2021 PRODUCT LAUNCH 30th anniversary and new season models

56 DFT STATISTICS Third quarter registration statistics

40 THE BUSINESS ESSENTIALS The ins and outs of redundancy

58 USED BIKE DATA From Auto Trader and Glass’s Guide

41

59 ON THE MONEY Roger Willis looks ahead to 2021

42 MARKETING MATTERS Pounding the sponsorship deal

61

INTERNATIONAL SHARE PRICES A snapshot of global performance

62 NEW REGISTRATION DATA MCIA statistics, NMDA and BDN reports

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55

Pages with blue tabs contain supported content

JOBSCENE Trade recruitment

44 BUSINESS BEAT Families in dispute A family’s success 46 PRODUCTS The latest kit to launch your New Year sales

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

3

Contents

Contents

IN THIS ISSUE

The Fleet Auction Group

The Fleet Professional Vehicle Auctions Auction Group Professio for Professional Vehicle nal buyers for Professio Vehicle Auctions nal

The Motorcycle Stock Vehicle buyers The Motor Market cycle Sto ck Marke t


Business news

Rieju readjusts SPANISH MOTORCYCLE AND moped manufacturer Rieju has chosen MotoMondo UK as its new British distributor. MotoMondo’s parent in the Netherlands already represents Rieju in the Benelux countries, as well as Mash, Royal Enfield and Hyosung. And, as previously reported by BDN, its UK arm has recently relaunched the Mash brand in Britain. Rieju was previously handled in the UK by Three Cross, until its bankruptcy earlier this year. At that time, distribution was taken over on a temporary basis by Rieju export manager Jamie Masterman, through Urban Moto, to ensure supply continuity of bikes and spares to dealers and their customers. This situation has now been resolved by MotoMondo’s appointment. MotoMondo is planning to establish a nationwide Rieju dealer network, into which outlets served by the former distributor can be integrated. This will be divided into road, hard enduro and full-range dealerships. They will benefit both from stock held in the Netherlands and supplies direct from Rieju’s factory in Spain. Rieju offers a wide range of models covering a variety of street and off-road segments – from 50cc supermotards through to 300cc race-ready enduro bikes. A recent development was dramatically enhancing its competition presence by taking over two-stroke enduro platforms previously made by GasGas. The Rieju range will be strengthened further in 2021 by introducing two-stroke machines compliant with Euro 5 standards. Rieju brand backing in the UK by MotoMondo will include presentation at motorcycle shows, as well as press tests and a racing support programme.  MotoMondo UK 01429 650 555 andrew@motomondo.co.uk

4

Dutch distributor purchases Putoline N

etherlands-based Powersports Distribution position of all our brands and help us to offer an even Group (PDG) has purchased the entire share greater service to our existing UK dealer base.” capital of Putoline Distribution, also known PDG chief executive Tom Beyers added: “We are as Neo Distribution, further strengthening PDG’s very pleased to welcome Neo Distribution to the position as a national distributor of motorcycle parts group and we look forward to further developing and accessories in the UK. the company together with John and Sally. The This latest takeover follows the PDG acquisition of acquisition is an important step in the further Bradbury Brothers and Rob Hunter development of our UK platform, in 2019. That combined company This a great which we are actively expanding now trades as Hoco Parts UK from with a well-filled mergers and opportunity its Huddersfield facility. acquisitions pipeline still ahead of Putoline Distribution was bought for us. It will us.” by John and Sally Hayden in 2004. Powersport Distribution Group While keeping a focus on exclusive strengthen the is a leading European business distribution of Putoline motorcycle distributing motorcycle parts and position of all lubricants, Action air filters and accessories, headquartered at Breda maintenance products, they later our brands in the Netherlands. It currently has added other lines, which include three divisions.  Roof helmets and Kappa luggage, accessories and Hoco Parts is an aftermarket motorcycle helmets. It now has a combined sales staff of 13 parts and accessories distributor in the Benelux serving more than 1000 trade customers around the countries, France, Denmark and the UK. DC AFAM UK. The company is located near Peterborough. supplies  transmission and battery brands such as Commenting on the transaction, directors John AFAM, Nitro and Shido, to European motorcycle and Sally Hayden said: “We look forward to working parts distributors. CMS is the leading global together with our staff under the umbrella of PDG. distributor of vintage Japanese motorcycle parts. We are very happy that we have been able to conclude PDG is majority-owned by private equity firm this deal, even in these times of uncertainty. This Torqx Capital Partners.  a great opportunity for us. It will strengthen the www.powersportsdistributiongroup.com

SBS Friction bought by Brembo ITALIAN AUTOMOTIVE BRAKING systems giant Brembo has acquired Danish motorcycle brake pad manufacturer SBS Friction for £26.9m from SBS Group. Brembo says the takeover, which should be finalised in the first quarter of 2021, will allow integration of strategic components such as brake pads and further strengthen leadership in the motorcycle sector. It is also apparently in line with Brembo’s new mission to become a respected solution provider, with a view to meeting sustainable mobility paradigms.

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

SBS Friction’s factory in Svendborg, Denmark, has approximately 100 employees and achieved annual revenue of £16m in 2019. It develops and produces sintered and organic brake pads with a focus on innovative, ecofriendly materials. UK importer for the brand is Direct Distribution in Shipley, Yorkshire. Commenting on the purchase, Brembo chairman Alberto Bombassei said: “We are particularly glad to welcome SBS Friction to our group. Despite the highly complex market context, Brembo has maintained its natural

Brembo chairman Alberto Bombassei propensity to invest in innovation. This acquisition is an important step in our strategy. It enables us to integrate even more specific competences in a key sector and to strengthen our range of ‘made-inBrembo’ solutions for the benefit of customers.”

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Used bikes are selling quicker, and at higher prices, than last year. Is this down to shortage of stock? Paul Edmondson, Auto Trader Bikes product lead, crunches the numbers THE SLOWDOWN OF MANUFACTURING at the start of the season, and the influx of new buyers into the marketplace (with a subsequent lack of part-exchanges) has led to what we think is a shortage of used bike stock. But is this really the case? Auto Trader Bikes saw no decline in audience numbers immediately following lockdown, and the number of people visiting the platform grew consistently over the Summer. Year to date there have been an additional 11 million bike advert views compared to the same period last year. And with audience numbers in October 42% ahead of last year, this trend could be set to continue. As well as this increase in demand for bikes, prices have also been steadily rising. In October the average price of a used bike on Auto Trader was £7216 – a 7% increase on October 2019 when it was £6719. The bikes that sold during October 2020 were advertised a median of just 27 days, while 12 months back it was 36 days for the same metric. And whilst we’ve seen this increased demand, last month the number of used bikes added to Auto Trader by retailers was up 16% versus October 2019 suggesting anything but a shortage in used stock, rather that bikes are just selling quicker than ever. One obvious reason behind this is the increase in demand for scooters and commuter bikes following the government’s guidance around the avoidance of public transport. On Auto Trader, the number of searches for scooters and mopeds went up by 32% in October versus last year, a point that we talked at length about in the national

press to highlight the benefits of motorbikes for commuting. The number of used scooters added to the site in October was up 17%, but the overall number of scooter adverts was actually down by 14%, demonstrating that these kinds of bikes are selling quickly. This is backed up by data showing us a median of just 21 days to sell for October compared with 30 days for the same month last year. This huge upsurge in the number of bikes being bought has also impacted the average price – in October the average price of a used scooter on Auto Trader was 13% higher than October 2019. Even some of the older bikes that are popular for commuting are going up in value. Take the Honda CBF125 (not produced since 2015) – in October 2019 the average price of this bike on Auto Trader was £1800, but this has increased by 38% to £2477. These findings are reinforced by the 16% YTD increase in registrations for 0-50cc bikes and 10% YTD increase in 50-125cc bikes being registered. But it’s not just commuter bikes that are selling quickly. Amongst others, Custom/ Cruiser bikes are a perfect example of where, despite more stock being added to the site than ever (+25% YOY), our overall numbers have declined (-18%), resulting in an overall increase in price (+10%). One thing for certain is that whilst we usually work hard to convince retailers that buyers are still out there in the run up to Winter, this year it’s never been more obvious. DVLA data tells us that there were 70,588 used bike transactions last Winter (November 2019-January 2020), and we think that number will be surpassed this year.

Advert number and average price increases Oct 2020 by sector

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+39%

8%

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+3%

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YoY used bikes added to Autotrader YoY change to average price

+2%

Business news

Is there a shortage of stock?

4% 2%

NMDA survey receives record response rate

T

he National Motorcycle Dealers Association Dealer Attitude Survey received its highestever response rate of 31% for the Autumn 2020 edition. Encouragingly, following a very tough trading year, the survey indicates “significantly” improved dealer confidence in the overall value of their franchise with Royal Enfield, Triumph and Ducati all performing strongly. “It is very positive that the NMDA Autumn 2020 Dealer Attitude Survey has received the highest-ever response rate, demonstrating that a growing number of dealers see the survey as an important and useful channel to provide feedback on the business relationship with their manufacturers”, said Paddy O’Connell, head of the NMDA. Findings showed that the all-dealer average when asked about the overall value of their franchise grew significantly, from 5.6 points out of 10 in spring 2020 to 6.4 now. Royal Enfield (9.5), Triumph (8.9) and Ducati (8.2) were the top three franchises. The franchises with the lowest ratings were Honda (5.3), Yamaha (4.9) and Piaggio Group (4.3). When dealers were asked about their ability to do business with manufacturers on a day-to-day basis, the average score remained static at 3.4 out of 5 points. Royal Enfield (4.8), Triumph and Lexmoto (both at 4.1) were the top scoring brands, while Piaggio Group dealers were the most dissatisfied for the fifth time in a row, with an average score of 2.5, a slight 0.1 improvement from the previous edition of the survey. Two key aspects analysed in the survey – profit and future profitability – saw an increase in terms of dealer satisfaction. When rating the profit return by representing their franchise, dealers gave an average score of 2.9, an increase of 0.2 from the spring survey. The average score for dealers’ satisfaction with future profitability rose significantly from 2.6 to 3.0. O’Connell continued, “The findings of the survey show a general increase in dealers’ satisfaction levels, supported by the inclusion in the survey of a number of brands which have not previously participated. Overall, dealers are fairly satisfied with the business relationship they have with their manufacturers. In particular, dealers’ satisfaction levels with the overall value of their franchise saw a significant average increase from six months ago. “Positively, key business aspects such as businesses’ future profitability saw an increase in score showing the extent of dealers’ resilience and optimism – especially during these times. Most respondents also showed high levels of satisfaction with other elements such as the image, price and value of their brand, as well as manufacturers’ warranty policy. “We thank our members for their continued support and we hope manufacturers will find the results useful in order to identify and address any issues affecting the relationship with their dealer network”.

NMDA www.rmif.co.uk/en/nmda

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European recovery ACCORDING TO EUROPEAN motorcycle industry association ACEM, bike registrations in Europe’s five largest markets – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – have reached 708,503 in the first nine months of 2020, only 3.3% down on the equivalent period of 2019. ACEM points out this is a huge improvement from the first half of the year, when the main European markets had fallen on average by 17%, due to paralysis of commercial activity by the Covid-19 pandemic. And it says the moped sector looks in even better shape, with registrations in the largest European markets – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain – increasing by 6.4% to 205,688 during the same January to September period. “The motorcycle registration figures show that the sector is slowly starting to recover from the very difficult months of March and April, which had put us under unprecedented financial stress,” commented ACEM secretary general Antonio Perlot. “The situation remains delicate, and uncertainty created by the Covid-19 outbreak is not over yet. That said, there are reasons to be optimistic.”

New EU derogation law passed

T

he official journal of the European Union has announced that a special legislative measure modifying the Euro 4 end-of-series rules for L-category vehicles is now in place, effective from 14 November. But whether the UK government implemented the measure before Britain’s Brexit transition period ended on 31 December is unclear. Under this new article 44a of EU Regulation 168/2013, manufacturers with excess inventory of Euro 4 homologated machines as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns across Europe from 15 March can request permission from the national authorities of each member state to continue selling them until 31 December 2021.

8

BSA back in business

I

ndian automotive giant Mahindra Group has unveiled plans to revive the BSA motorcycle brand in 2021, from a British base in the Midlands. In a press briefing reported by the Financial Times and Guardian newspapers among others, Mahindra’s eponymous chairman Anand Mahindra said the revived BSA company would shortly open a £9.5m technical and design centre in Banbury, in part funded by a £4.6m UK government grant. This will be followed by an assembly plant near Coventry, due to be in production by the middle of next year, with a capacity of more than 10,000 bikes annually. About 80% of output will be scheduled for export.   The first new BSA model is to be a conventional petrol-engined machine with retro styling, joined

by an electric motorcycle at the end of 2021. Components for these will initially be sourced from India. But Anand Mahindra told FT motor industry correspondent Peter Campbell that some core

The first new BSA model is to be a conventional petrol-engined machine parts may subsequently be produced in the UK, if trading conditions are stable after Britain has finally severed its ties with the EU. The ownership structure behind BSA’s revival is Classic

Legends, a joint venture in which Mahindra Group has a 60% stake. It will be run by minority partner Phi Capital, a private equity firm headed up by former investment banker and motorcycle enthusiast Anupam Thareja. On Indian home turf, Classic Legends has successfully relaunched the formerly Czech Jawa brand, selling more than 50,000 retrostyled bikes in its first year. Although Mahindra Group’s Mahindra 2 Wheelers motorcycle subsidiary is a relatively small player in India’s vast motorcycle market, its parent is the world’s biggest agricultural tractor manufacturer and is rated 20th among global automotive producers, dominating domestic Indian SUV sales. Anand Mahindra’s personal wealth allegedly amounts to £1.3bn.

Royal riding experience ROYAL ENFIELD HAS ESTABLISHED A TRIPARTITE relationship with off-road and touring specialist Superior Motorcycle Experiences (SME) and UK Royal Enfield distributor Moto GB, which will be supporting SME events with bikes, parts and participation. Their joint aim is to bring the joy of motorcycling to all levels of rider, on board Royal Enfield’s Himalayan adventure bike. Dorset-based SME is a new venture providing off-road rider training and supervised off-road riding

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

experiences, as well as escorted group tours both from its expedition base in the UK and a satellite hub in the Spanish Pyrenees. Commenting on the deal, Royal Enfield UK country manager George Cheeseman said: “We are delighted to be welcoming SME to the Royal Enfield partnership programme. We are always looking for partners who share our passion and enthusiasm for providing the whole motorcycling experience in its purest form.”

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Business news

SHORT CUTS OXFORD PRODUCTS

SINCE RECRUITING TRADE VETERANS ERIC and Karen McFarlane to establish a US sales and distribution centre in 2012 at Jacksonville, Florida, the Oxford Products brand has become a top seller for some of America’s largest motorcycle accessory retailers. But, according to Oxford marketing director Henry Rivers Fletcher, the company is now in a position to evolve its US business model, removing the significant cost of operating the Jacksonville warehouse by selling direct to its biggest retail partners and via regional distributors to the rest. The US business, together with all other sales into the Americas, will in future be managed by Oxford’s export team, headed by export director Chris Shearer. The warehouse will close at the end of January 2021. Congratulating Eric and Karen McFarlane for their extraordinary achievements on behalf of everybody at Oxford, Shearer said: “We cannot thank them enough for the incredible job they have done to put Oxford on the American map. With a market the size of the USA, it was no mean feat! As they return home to be with their family, the whole team wishes them well in their next endeavour.”

NMDA DEALER GUIDES

AFTER ANALYSING ITS DAILY LEGAL ENQUIRY reports, the NMDA has launched a new series of operational guides covering some of the key areas which have been of particular concern to members. The objective is to understand some of the issues members are facing and to produce straightforward guides, offering fundamental information about the legal requirements in the motorcycle industry. The first guide focuses on distance selling, an issue which is currently of particular relevance. Over the coming months, NMDA members will have access to a an entire series of user friendly “hands on” guides covering key areas such as General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) as well as HR issues. Whilst the guides are designed for the easy access of dealers, the NMDA offers additional, detailed guidance and case studies through a dedicated member area on the website as well as regular, member bulletins. Paddy O’Connell said, “We want to remind NMDA members of their access to our free legal helpline, as well as a number of industry experts they can contact whenever they require further assistance or information. We continue to encourage our members to get in touch with us directly with any queries they may have”. If dealers want to suggest further topics for the guides, contact the NMDA dedicated member helpline on 01788 538303.

MOTORCYCLES “NOT IN SCOPE”

AFTER THE UK GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED on 18 November that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will end by 2030, The Motorcycle Action Group immediately noted the position on motorcycles wasn’t mentioned. It therefore contacted the Department for Transport for clarification. The DfT responded by confirming motorcycles were “not in scope” regarding the 18 November announcement and a spokesperson went on to say that there are currently no time frames for ending the sale of petrol-engined bikes. And further, should the DfT wish to make such a move, it will consult first with MAG and its members.

10

Bust dealer saved

T

he site-sharing Ducati Glasgow and Triumph Glasgow operation and the companies behind this edifice – Rogers, Rees & Robins Limited, Rogers, Rees & Robins (Properties) Limited, R3 Red Limited and R3 Black Limited – formally entered administration on 27 November. Licensed insolvency practitioners Julie Tait and Stuart Preston of accountancy firm Grant Thornton UK were appointed as joint administrators to manage the failed business. According to Grant Thornton, the dealership turned over £8.9m in its previous fiscal year, including £4.3m in sales of new bikes across both brands and £2.8m from used machines, and was profitable at operating level. But the impact of Covid across its peak trading season in 2020, which included a three-month lockdown closure, depressed revenue to £5.5m in nine months of the fiscal year to 31 October. This meant the business had been unable to generate sufficient cash to meet financial obligations to its secured creditor. That creditor, understood to be Clydesdale Bank, was therefore no longer willing to provide support. Grant Thornton has been seeking a business and assets sale “on an accelerated basis” to ensure trading continuity for

the dealership’s 15 employees and other stakeholders. Described by the administrators at the time as a “significant opportunity for a purchaser, most likely already operating within the automotive

retail industry, to gain access to a loyal customer base, benefit from a wider geographical footprint and increased scale”, the dealership is also, in terms of geographical reach, Ducati’s sole representative in Scotland.

Major shakeup for Glasgow DUCATI MANCHESTER GROUP (DMG) has acquired the insolvent Ducati Glasgow and Triumph Glasgow business, and has already welcomed customers back to its showrooms as doors re-opened on the 11 December. DMG was founded in 2002 by Chris Booth and operates Ducati dealerships in Preston, Manchester, Stoke and Worcester. Staff from both Scottish franchises have been retained and will remain at the current Hillington address for the next few months. However, DMG intends to relocate the store later in 2021. Commenting on this acquisition, DMG supremo Booth said: “It made total sense for us to include the Glasgow dealerships in our group and I am proud to be serving Scotland with all that DMG can offer. We are already planning to bring our award-winning customer

service, social events, ride outs and trips to Scotland.” Mike Robins, former owner of the Glaswegian business, has invested alongside DMG in this revived venture. He added, “I am really excited to be joining the DMG family. It’s a very successful and experienced dealer group which will bring a winning formula to Scotland.” Tim Maccabee, managing director, Ducati UK, commented, “I am very pleased to see that Ducati Glasgow will continue to operate in Scotland representing Ducati and offering continuity to its loyal customers. The DMG group is highly regarded by Ducati which has been recognised both in the UK and globally through a number of awards for sales and service. I believe Ducati customers in Scotland are in good hands with Chris and the DMG group and an exciting future lies ahead.”

It’s a successful dealer group which will bring a winning formula to Scotland

Incoming Meteor

T

he new A2-compliant 350cc Royal Enfield Meteor single is aimed at “first-timers, upgraders, commuters, students and female riders”, according to Arun Gopal, Enfield’s head of international business, speaking at the recent European on-line launch. The Meteor’s balancer-shaft equipped SOHC engine is not derived from Enfield’s familiar 1950s-style singles but a longstroke configuration stays in the thumper tradition, with the associated exhaust sound. It produces a quoted 20.2bhp at 6100rpm and is said to major on providing plenty of lowand mid-range urge.

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

Jointly designed and developed at RE’s Indian plants and its UK Bruntingthorpe facility, the Meteor is retro styled, with echoes of 1950s’ models in the twin rear shocks and quaint circular LED rear lamp, but with modern tech such as the app-controlled Tripper navigation device. Described by RE as an “easy cruiser” the Meteor comes in three editions – the Fireball at £3749 OTR, the Stellar with chromed exhaust and passenger backrest at £3829 and the Super Nova, which adds a touring screen and two-tone paint for £3909. First UK deliveries are due in the spring.

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c i tr c Ele

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matches the current state of the art in petrol machinery. Batteries are expensive, heavy, and take up a lot of space. That’s not a big deal when you have a two-ton, £75,000 car like the Tesla Model S to fit them into. But it’s a physical impossibility with a £15k, 200bhp, 185kg superbike like the BMW S1000RR. Plus, the mainstream mindset of motorcyclists also seems to be set against electric power. Spend any time on social media or at a biker meet, and you’re more likely to hear arguments for the return of smokey two-stroke engines than clean, quiet, electric motors. Worries about range, performance, weight, charging time and cost dominate the arguments – and the small‘C’ conservative nature of many bikers seems to mitigate against a fundamental change away from petrol power – for the moment at least. What changes might be coming then? We’ve spoken to several of the main importers of electric two-wheelers in the UK, to see how 2020 went for them – and how the electric sector is developing. In terms of the narrative of 2020, the story for electric bike importers is pretty similar to the one experienced by the ‘mainstream’ industry, which BDN has covered over the past few issues. Lockdown came as a massive shock We have to in March, and firms had to cope as best break down the they could, while barrier between bikers supporting their dealers and looking and the world – don’t after essential think of it as a motorbike, workers. “When lockdown think of it as a personal commenced we quickly reviewed our transport solution processes to consider both worker safety and dealership support,” said Dan Frost, senior operations Coot Scootz manager at Super Soco. “Due

ideo rental firm Blockbusters laughed at an offer to buy a small internet start-up called Netflix for $50m in 2000. Nokia never saw Apple’s iPhone coming. And back in 1997, no-one expected that an internet bookstore owner called Jeff would become the richest person in the world … So it’s difficult to see exactly what’s happening now with what’s probably the next big change in motorcycling – from petrol tanks and internal combustion engines to batteries and electric motors. On the one hand, this looks like an unstoppable move. The UK government says it will stop the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Firms like Honda have stopped diesel engine R&D altogether. Tesla is the most valuable car company on the planet. Emissions rules in cities like London are pushing the internal combustion engine out in favour of zeroemissions vehicles, walking, cycling and public transport. Factor in the Covid-19 pandemic ‘Black Swan Event’, and you can see that massive changes are probably on the way. But on the other hand, there are some seemingly-insurmountable problems when you try to build an electric motorcycle that

Roy Parris

12

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

It’s probably hardest to see exactly what change is coming when you’re right in the middle of it. Looking back to the 1960s when Japanese motorbikes started to appear in the UK market, what were the big British firms doing? With hindsight of course, it’s easy to see their mistakes – but at the time, the idea that small, efficient, multicylinder machinery from Japan would replace big British twins must have been much harder to spot. And similar changes have hit a load of industries over the decades since. Alan Dowds reports to our prior approach of allowing staff the flexibility to work remotely we were able to easily adjust, and this allowed us to support dealers throughout such uncertain times. As with mainstream suppliers, electric firms kept their service and spares operations up and running even in these early days of lockdown. “We made the decision early on to support key workers on the front lines by offering a 10% discount beyond the 20% OLEV discount that is already in place,” said Frost. “This enabled key workers access to clean mobility when public transport struggled to accommodate.” The story was the same at Lexmoto, which launched its first electric bikes this summer. The firm’s Paul Wakely said, “Lockdown swept the rug from under everybody’s feet. A lot of our dealers closed, for a little while at least. However, we remained open and operational during the course of the lockdown to fulfil the parts side of business and help keep key workers on the road.” Dean Clements of Clements Moto had a similar experience. “The first lockdown saw most dealers close their showrooms. A few bikes were sold, but this was limited. May became busy, but only with our eBikes as most bicycle dealers were permitted to open unlike motorcycle and car dealerships. June onwards has been exceptionally busy. Initial demand was focussed on small-capacity commuter models and eBikes, however that demand spread across our ranges.” As the pandemic progressed, then, demand for commuter bikes soared, with essential workers trying to avoid public transport. And many were keen to explore electric machinery. The recent growth in electric cars seemed to have helped here, and many new commuting riders are less concerned with ‘proper biker’ worries about peak power and massive touring ranges. Roy Parris works at electric scooter importer Coot Scootz, and he told us about

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SUR-RON ELECTRIC PAYDIRT Jamie Mastermain is commercial director at Urban Moto, which distributes the SurRon brand of electric dirt bikes. He took us through 2020. “IT HAS BEEN AN UNBELIEVABLE year for the brand. Despite losing three months of production in the first wave of Covid, the sales of the off-road LBX machine just went wild, we will have sold more than 1400 units during 2020, if more stock was available it could have hit in excess of 2000 units. “Then, as the year progressed, the sales of the road legal variant also increased. According to the latest MCIA registration stats, the Sur-Ron Light Bee is the UK’s best-selling moped (excluding scooters) and at the end October had registered over 200 units.”

his typical buyer. “Lots of people are interested in going electric in some way, but can’t afford £35,000 for a Nissan Leaf or whatever. So this is their way of doing their bit, getting rid of a car, being able to park and get around, beat congestion without having a pushbike. We have a fair number of customers who had electric-assisted pedal bikes and they’re getting older and don’t want to pedal anymore.” Adam Bowen at Artisan Scooters echoes this. “During lockdown, our website was busy, enquiries increased in April, and we sold a load of bikes to NHS staff: frontline workers who normally got the tube or the bus. Most of our customers need to commute into a city and want to do it without getting on public transport. We’re here to get people out of the tube/trains/ buses and onto bikes. They don’t need a 200-mile range, London is 15 miles across ...” So, accelerated by Covid-19, it seems a split is deepening in the electric bike sector. The batterypowered equivalent of mopeds and learner-legal machines, bought by non-bikers as personal transport solutions, versus traditional motorcyclists who expect much more performance and range. New-age commuters vs petrol heads, if you will. How did the more ‘conventional’ electric bike options fare then? Zero is perhaps the most obvious example to look at – while most

How has the change to electric progressed? “Customers are now demanding lightweight electric machines, with the benefit of not annoying the neighbours when in use. They love the low maintenance, with no messy oil/ filter changes and refuelling.” And Sur-Ron has lots coming in the new year. “2021 will see the introduction of the new fullsize road-legal Storm L3 [125cc equivalent] that promises torque levels associated with 600cc bikes, and advanced traction control systems. We are also introducing a new range of high-powered, high-specification electric mountain bikes, which are in strong demand. We are seeing a new breed of eBike riders crossing over from eBikes to full electric motorcycles. The future for electric two-wheelers has never been so bright!”

of the smaller firms specialise in commuting-friendly 125cc and 50cc-equivalent scooters, Zero offers machines that have similar performance to a standard 650cc twin, with 100 mile+ range. The firm’s UK boss, Dale Robinson told us how 2020 has gone for them, starting with the situation in late March. “The business kept operating as normally as possible,” he told us. “We’re part of a wider European business, based in the Netherlands. All the staff there were able to work remotely or, in the case of the parts department, in a socially-distanced manner. “We sold quite a few bikes to riders looking to avoid public transport and many of our dealers, especially in the London area, have a strong number of ‘key’ workers in their customer base, so they remained open for parts and servicing, where possible. Our parts are fulfilled from Zero’s European HQ in the Netherlands, and the parts department remained open, albeit with reduced staffing, while the technical department was able to work from home and continue delivering support to dealers and customers.” Once dealers re-opened in June, the good news continued for Zero. “In general, things were positive. There was a pentup demand and most dealers reported a bounce effect. There’s no doubt that the ‘new normal’ influenced a few more to make the leap to electric. The new 

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SR/S also hit the showrooms just as lockdown occurred, so much of the interest in the brand revolved around that this summer.” At the very top end of the market lies Italian firm Energica. It produces highend 140bhp electric superbikes and supernakeds, costing upward of £20,000 – and also builds the MotoE electric race bikes which support Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez on the MotoGP circuit. It’s as far from an NHS worker’s electric commuting moped as it’s possible to get – but the firm’s CEO, Livio Cevolini, told us it could barely keep up with demand in 2020. “The trend [in lockdown] did not slow down: on the contrary, new orders kept arriving, which was very positive, especially considering the circumstances. Depending on the country, some dealers were forced into a temporary closure but still received orders from customers during that time. We tried to speed up production times as much as possible: the sales increase was so significant that didn’t allow Energica to create any stock, but we did all we could to keep up with the increased number of incoming orders. These motorcycles were delivered when possible using no-contact techniques,” she said. “As a company, we are currently out of stock as orders exceeded our production ability, which was also slowed down by the lockdown period and by a slower resumption of operations by our suppliers – who are still trying to get back to full speed after the restart in June. Currently, we are making sure all orders are delivered – as there are still some pending due to the aforementioned delays. There are plans in motion to increase our production speed and we are looking for extra suppliers in order to increase our pace.” All through the sector then, business seems to have boomed in 2020. But for the smaller commuting specialists in particular, bike dealers don’t always seem to be making the most of the available opportunities. Roy Parris of Coot Scootz again; “We’ve had poor take up with motorbike dealers, so we’ve been looking for more independent people. We find people that sell mobility scooters, for example, it fits in there, they’re already doing that sort of thing. We have to break down the barrier between bikers and the world – don’t

People that buy electric bikes aren’t bikers. Most of our customers need to commute into a city and want to do it without getting on public transport

Adam Bowen Artisan Scooters

think of it as a motorbike, think of it as a personal transport solution. Ninety per cent of our customers don’t consider themselves bikers. Typically, they’re a 50+ couple with a bit of money, they’re retiring, getting rid of one car when they had two to cart the kids about, and buying one of our bikes lets them get around town, pick up the car from the pub next morning, all those sorts of things.” Adam Bowen at Artisan said “We do work with non-traditional bike dealers. People that buy electric bikes aren’t bikers. Most of our customers need to commute into a city and want to do it without getting on public transport.” Dan Frost at Super Soco also spoke about this difference. “The next generation of riders has different values compared to the traditional motorcycle market. Buyers research heavily online to identify products before stepping foot in a showroom. The limited maintenance, gearless operation and service schedules provides a prospect that is incredibly appealing to new riders that would have previously restricted themselves to cars.” All the firms we spoke to are hopeful that this might be changing though, with attitudes adapting to new realities across the board. “The growth in the electric car industry will help us,” said Adam Bowen. “Look at new brands like Tesla and Polestar, electric cars outselling diesels, these sort of changes. So when it comes to the 2021 Motorcycle Live show, the ‘stigma’ might have gone. Harley-Davidson Glasgow is taking on our Horwin brand of electric scooters – they took

First impressions matter. So do the thousands after! PROGRAMMATIC & DISPLAY ADVERTISING / SOCIAL MARKETING

on a demo bike yesterday – and we’ve just delivered £30,000 of stock to our new dealer in Edinburgh. The ‘virtual’ Motorcycle Live event this year definitely helped us out – we launched our new Horwin EK3 virtually on November 24th and had 400 views of the launch video in half an hour – much more than we’d have got normally.” Roy Parris at Coot Scootz is also seeing a change in attitudes. “Our local dealer who laughed initially at our bikes is now an agent for Zero and Super Soco. Now they say ‘you’re right, people are interested in electric bikes.’” Austrian firm KTM sells a road-legal electric bike, the Freeride E-XC, and a kidfriendly electric off-roader, the SX-E 5. The firm’s offering are still niche compared with its huge range of petrol machines – but the firm seems to know change is on the way. UK marketing manager Simon Roots gave us his view: “Marketing and selling like-for-like electric product to traditional bikers is nighon impossible given the barriers to entry. So alternative manufacturers are selling to alternative customers in alternative channels – they are meeting demand away from the traditional motorcycle dealership. The challenge for established manufacturers is to welcome these new customers, meet them with relevant product, and educate them as to the advantages of everything that comes with a big brand.” As we come to the end of a year unlike any other, then, the electric bike market might be starting to look a bit clearer. There’s definitely a large untapped pool of 

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potential buyers, who aren’t ‘bikers’ – but who want to buy a clean, quiet, modern electric transport device. As a traditional motorcycle dealer, you can ignore that market without too many downsides at the moment. But as many dealers are seeing, there’s definitely a future in this sector. The crossover between traditional bikers and the electric market is currently quite small and specialised – Zero, Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire, KTM’s Freeride, and the Energica. These firms all offer machines which could tempt riders away from their petrol-powered bikes, without too many compromises. Meanwhile, the lightweight commuting sector is growing at the bottom, whether we like it or not. Pedal-powered electric bicycles, moped- and 125cc-equivalent electric bikes or scooters are being sold by specialist suppliers – green transport specialists, bicycle stores, even electric wheelchair dealers are getting in on the act. How can ‘traditional’ motorcycle dealers grab some of this new market? A strong online presence seems like an essential part of the mix – as well as ‘getting’ the electric bike offering. “Dealers that are doing well are those that are engaging with their online audience and supporting new riders when they finally commit to visit,” said Dan Frost. “Don’t blind customers with facts and figures but explain to them the steps and benefits associated with two wheel transport.” “We’ve got some great dealers from different backgrounds,” said Dale Robinson. “It’s well

known that Streetbike of Halesowen are our longest serving dealership, and doing a good job in a multi franchise environment. We are also seeing the emergence of electric-only dealerships, like The English Electric Motorcycle Co. in Diss and Amped Motorcycles in Wales. These You have guys are really embracing to get bums electric and where they are winning is by being strong on seats to really on social media and, mainly, by being out there demonstrate what a in offering demo rides Zero is all about and exceptional customer service. They really get what electric bikes are all about and can confidently Zero Motorcycles them, you won’t notice them, answer any questions potential but they are there. buyers may have.” “For most people, range is not Arguments about charging and range the issue they think it is. We know that the are vital to address, and Dale Robinson is range of a Zero is more than adequate for our well practiced at this. “The infrastructure customers and we are even seeing some take argument is one of those cliches trotted out on touring trips with their bikes. You can by cynics. Our customers charge at home easily do 90 miles of fairly pacey riding on a and always start the day with a full ‘tank’ Zero, and then charge up in less than an hour. – imagine how little you would use petrol For most riders that’s enough.” stations if you could fill up at home. But if And a test ride seems to be even more you do need to use public chargers there important on electric bikes. “You have to get are now more of them than there are petrol bums on seats to really demonstrate what a stations. Tesco is rolling out charging points, Zero is all about,” says Robinson. “In all the which are completely free to use, and there years of doing this, no one’s ever got off one are faster chargers popping up all over the without a smile on their face.”  place. Unlike petrol stations, charging posts See market statistics on page 62. are located discretely. If you’re not looking for

Dale Robinson

GOING ELECTRIC OFF-ROAD WITH OSET WE’VE FOCUSED ON ROAD-LEGAL BIKES WITH number plates for this feature – but there’s more to the electric two-wheeler market than that. Electric off-road machines have become very popular, thanks to the lack of noise and public acceptance allowing use in more areas – and particularly for kids. And they offer a strong extra sales channel for many dealers. Oset has been at the forefront of the sector, with its electric trials bikes proving a massive hit over the past decade or so. Ian Smith, CEO, told us how the year has gone for his firm. “I’d been to Taiwan in February, and they were already taking every measure possible; masks, temperature checks, hand sanitiser, controls at airports. When I arrived back in the

UK there was nothing at the airport, the train was overcrowded, and no precautions were in sight – so I knew we’d be in trouble here. “I reacted very strongly at the start of lockdown, and expected demand to drop off a cliff. On that basis we jumped to it. We furloughed seven staff and kept a skeleton crew to deal with orders, tech calls etc. We stayed open, but were trying to slim down and run a minimal operation.” But as with other firms, Oset found that lockdown didn’t close the door for sales. “April and May went mad. Demand was off the charts, and we basically sold everything we had. Dealers were closed for lockdown for the most part, but most were able to still find a way to receive and

deliver bikes. Our bikes were really what kept a lot of them turning over from what I understand.” Then, in June, when dealers opened again, Oset hit the problem of sourcing stock that many other firms found. “Demand continued, but the bikes had run out. A big shipment was meant to arrive in early June, but the supply chain was suffering big delays. The June bikes ended up arriving in September, with pretty much every bike pre-sold into the dealer network. Production continues to suffer from big delays, and lead times have gone up massively. We can manage some of it, but the current ‘normal’ is delays and long lead times. We are constantly out of bikes – any that we do get in go straight out to the dealer network.”

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Virtual show doors close SUPPORTED BY MORE THAN 120 manufacturers and key brands Motorcycle Live Online in association with Bikesure Insurance, closed its virtual doors on 29th November. Cyber content included interviews hosted by James Whitham with stars from British Superbikes and the Isle of Man TT, along with a guest appearance from Charley Boorman and other motorcycling headliners.   Managing director of Motorcycle Live, Finlay McAllan said: “This year has certainly been different. I’d like to thank everyone involved for helping us make Motorcycle Live Online a success. One of our biggest aims this year was to give our fans, followers and regular visitors some entertainment during what is a difficult time for many. “Motorcycle Live Online will never take the place of our physical show, and as much as an online platform can offer a taste of the show, nothing can replace the sights, sounds, smells, feel or buzz of meeting people and having fun, while sharing a passion for everything two-wheel related. And that’s exactly what we’re turning our attention to planning for 2021.” Partnering with the show for a second year, Bikesure Insurance business development manager, Grant Varnham, commented: “We’re really happy with how Motorcycle Live Online has gone this year. Everyone has worked hard to deliver the show in a different way for visitors to enjoy, but with the same spirit at its heart.” Dave Holloway, sales director of Infinity Motorcycles, concluded: “We pride ourselves on offering show visitors a great experience as well as fantastic deals on top brands at Motorcycle Live. This year, we had to do things a little differently but we were happy to join forces with the show to offer a number of daily deals and exclusive discount codes for ‘visitors’. We’ve seen good traction on our website as a result and think it’s great that the show went online for 2020 instead of simply closing the doors.” Motorcycle Live 2021 is scheduled to take place at The NEC, Birmingham from 20th28th November.

Container congestion chaos

A

s busy UK ports grind to a halt, with containers travelling to and from the UK unable to make progress due to container congestion, it’s fair to say that the UK is facing a perfect storm of Brexit-related issues and coronavirus. A “global shipping crisis” where a build-up of containers is leading to some ports becoming so congested that they’re either being avoided and replaced with alternative ports on the other side of the UK (Felixstowe with Liverpool, according to shipping companies Maersk and MSC) or sea freight is being abandoned in favour of air freight. Further, there’s a global mismatch where empty containers are stuck in the wrong location. All of this creates both delays and extra cost. Port congestion has become such a serious concern that shippers are turning away cargo or are choosing to offload at continental ports. The issue is extending throughout UK industry. Honda announced in early December that its just-in-time manufacturing process was being hampered by the delays at the ports to such an extent that the production line was put on pause, laying workers

off for several days until sufficient supplies were received. The situation has been exacerbated by the thousands of containers filled with PPE destined for the health service and by the higher than normal import volumes following the end of the first lockdown. On top of those issues, there’s also a new booking system used by hauliers to enter ports which is said to be working poorly, if at all.

DOUBLE WHAMMY And its not just shipping problems causing prices to rise. Just over a year on since the UK left the European Union it’s becoming apparent that one of the effects of our departure from the trading bloc is the serious potential for prices to rise on certain imports. To put the problem into context, according to data quoted by The Independent, albeit using food as an example, the UK imports 45% of its needs, with 26% coming from the EU. With such volumes involved, and new importing processes, the UK is very vulnerable to disruption in the flow of goods from Europe, especially so since the government estimates that there could be as many as an extra 200 million

customs declarations a year required under new regulations. As far back as March 2019, motorcycle insurance specialist Bennetts was worryingly talking about the seriousness of tariff imposition if the UK left the EU without a deal. It detailed how EU-made machines could face a levy of between 6 and 8%. And the situation for cars is no different according to consumer organisation Which?. It reckons that additional costs in manufacturing and exporting to the UK will simply be passed on down the chain to the end customer. Manufacturers, including Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Vauxhall have all confirmed that prices will rise in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with other companies saying it would lead them to review their prices. Cars finished in the EU will face a 10% tariff which would net out as a 6.3% rise in purchase price for the consumer. As this is written, with just days to go before the end of the postBrexit transitional period and with few signs of an imminent deal, the motorcycle industry nervously awaits clarification of exactly what tariffs may or may not be imposed in the future.

Devitt appoints Holeshot

S

pecialist motorcycle insurer, Devitt Insurance Services has appointed Holeshot PR, which has been charged with maximising Devitt’s partnerships with organisations, race teams and events, elevating its customer awareness programme and creating content for its popular Keep Britain Biking channels. Devitt has specialised in motorcycle insurance since 1936 and currently looks after the insurance interests of more than 125,000 customers, making it one of the leading privately-owned motorcycle insurance specialists in the UK. Tom Warsop, marketing manager for Devitt Insurance explained: “We’re looking forward to building on our relationship with Holeshot PR. The team there has a wealth of experience and great contacts within the motorcycle industry,

18 DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

which will help to reinforce Devitt as a reliable and reputable bike insurance specialist.” Devitt Insurance is the latest addition to Holeshot PR’s ever-expanding client portfolio. In the last few months alone, Holeshot has welcomed Kawasaki Motors UK, Segway Powersports and the FHO Racing BMW Team to its roster. Holeshot PR owner Harley Stephens added: “We’re really excited to be working with Devitt Insurance. It has some great biking history, with a wide range of supported partners across a number of diverse disciplines, making for some very interesting content. With the current lack of live events, it’s never been more crucial for brands to maximise their outreach to existing and potential customers, so we’re looking forward to pushing their messages onward.”

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Ap

Or


MOTUL

Henry Cole, presenter of the long-running Motorbike Show

IoM TT 2021 cancelled T

he Manx government’s Minister for Enterprise Laurence Skelly has cancelled the TT races for a second year running. In a statement, he said: “We do not underestimate the disappointment that this decision will cause to many people. However, we are making an early and logical decision to provide certainty and clarity to race fans and everyone else involved in our event. The TT relies on thousands of volunteers and officials across a wide range of organisations and we could not move responsibly towards operating to that date and commit to welcoming tens of thousands of people to the Island in June, despite the progress towards a vaccination programme globally and on the Island. “We evaluated all possible options including moving to a later date but there are complexities and risks, including scaling up of certain infrastructure and critical delivery elements of the TT, as well as existing resident and visitor travel in late August, which would cause further disruption to thousands of people. We remain hopeful that the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix can take place later in the year and we look forward to welcoming visitors to our Island again.” A decision on whether the Classic TT will take place will be taken no later than the end of March.

S

eries 9 of The Motorbike Show has six brand new hour-long episodes to keep riders entertained during the winter weeks. First broadcast in 2011, The Motorbike Show is the longestrunning motorcycle magazine programme on television. Originally due on screen in April, the nationwide lockdown interrupted filming and delayed the final edit by several months. Viewers can look forward to a wide variety of material. Presenter Henry Cole will be riding some of the best biking roads in the UK and Europe, tackling a restoration with help from Sam Lovegrove and Allen Millyard, recounting stories of iconic motorcycles and manufacturers, along with features on a variety of twowheel activities and sport. The Motorbike Show is scheduled to be shown weekly on ITV4 from 9pm on Wednesday evenings.

New Dunlop deal DUNLOP HAS ANNOUNCED A three-year contract extension with Dorna Sports that will see the FIM Moto2 and Moto3 World Championships continue racing on Dunlop tyres until 2023. Ben Hoge, general manager BATTERIES-210x76.pdf 1 14.12.2020 15:32:31 motorcycle Europe, Goodyear,

said: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Dorna in Moto2 and Moto3. Both series are integral to Dunlop Motorsport’s activities and allow us to develop technology for our expanding range of tyres.” Pau Serracanta, MD, Dorna Sports commented: “We are delighted that

Dunlop will remain tyre supplier for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes. Dunlop has been a cornerstone of Moto2 and Moto3 since each began.”

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MOTODIRECT, UK DISTRIBUTOR OF FRENCH lubricants brand Motul, has established a headline partnership with new Bennetts BSB and international road races team FHO Racing. FHO will use Motul’s Factory Line of products including 300V, an engine oil specially formulated for racing applications. Commenting on the deal, Motul UK senior brand manager Richard Barrett said: “What better way to celebrate 50 years of 300V. Everyone at Motul is excited to be working with FHO Racing. The team has a fantastic rider lineup to take on the roads and short circuits.”

OXFORD

OXFORD PRODUCTS IS TO REMAIN AS LEAD sponsor of Moto Rapido Ducati Racing in the British Superbikes Championship for 2021 and 2022. First joining forces with the Winchesterbased Ducati dealership’s team in 2019, Oxford immediately enjoyed the fruits of Moto Rapido BSB success that year. Thanks to a series of race wins and podium finishes by rider Tommy Bridewell, their campaign together culminated with an emphatic third place in the final standings. Hailing this tie-up, Oxford Products MD Andrew Hammond (above right) said: “We are delighted to continue with Moto Rapido, cementing their position at the sharp end of the BSB paddock. To have a team in the world’s best domestic motorcycle racing championship is a thrill with which we never grow tired.”

AVON

KTM HAS SELECTED AVON’S DUAL-SPORT Trailrider tyre as the OE fitment for its new 890 Adventure model. The preceding 2019-spec 790 Adventure edition was also equipped with Trailrider rubberwear. Commenting on the choice, Avon Tyres head of global OE sales René Delonge said: “It has been a joy to work with KTM in recent years and the 890 marks another important step in our journey together.” KTM product manager Joachim Sauer added: “For every KTM model we look for the optimum tyre performance in all conditions and we know we can count on Avon to help us achieve this goal.”

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On teh move

Polaris boss quits

A MCE INSURANCE HAS MADE another step towards fulfilling its gender parity ambitions with two new appointments to the leadership team. Malgorzata Zakrzewska, currently head of finance, has been appointed as company secretary. Having joined MCE in 2006 as a customer service assistant, Zakrzewska moved through a series of roles, first as a finance assistant and ultimately as head of finance before this most recent promotion. She will be responsible for managing and maintaining all levels of corporate governance within MCE and overseeing the efficient administration of the company, ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and

ensuring that decisions of the board of directors are implemented. Julian Edwards, CEO of MCE, said: “Malgorzata brings a huge amount of experience and expertise to this role. As we expand our offering and embark on the next stage of our growth strategy, the role of company secretary becomes ever more important. Malgorzata will play an essential role in facilitating the smooth running of our board-level operations as we take the next steps in our expansion plans. I am delighted she has accepted this responsibility.” In addition, executive assistant to the CEO, Dee Modha, has been promoted to the MCE leadership team after more than 12 years at the business.

ON THE MOVE

revelation that Scott Wine, chairman and chief executive of US powersports giant Polaris, had tendered his resignation caused the company’s share price to plunge on 18 November. Wine, who headed up the motorcycle, off-road vehicle and snowmobile specialist for the past 12 years, remained at Polaris until the end of December while the Polaris board of directors sought a successor. The reason for Wine’s departure is straightforward. He’s got a much better job as chief executive of CNH Industrial, a huge ItalianAmerican manufacturer of everything from trucks, vans, buses, tractors and other agricultural machinery, bulldozers and diggers to military armoured vehicles. Controlled by the Agnelli dynasty and now headquartered at Basildon in the UK, CNH is the product of a merger with Fiat Industrial. Its brand portfolio includes Case, Iveco, New Holland, Heuliez, Magirus, Steyr and FPT. The group has 37 manufacturing facilities across Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia. These supply around 11,500 dealers and distributors in more than 170 countries. In a valedictory message to Polaris staff, Scott Wine said: “I have had the extraordinary honour of leading the best team in powersports. And it’s incredibly rewarding to reflect on all that we have accomplished together. I am most proud of the team and the culture that have made working here so gratifying, and having witnessed first-hand the ingenuity, passion and drive that permeates the company, I leave with complete confidence that Polaris’ future is bright. I also want to offer my sincere thanks to my incredibly talented colleagues and to the Polaris board for their guidance and leadership during my tenure.”

RAC DEALER NETWORK

ABBOTT JOINS BICKERS

BICKERS HAS ANNOUNCED THE APPOINTMENT OF PETER ABBOTT AS SOUTH EAST AREA SALES manager. Abbott brings to the post a wealth of experience and industry knowledge having previously covered the area as a senior account manager for other major hard parts distributors over the last twenty years. He is looking forward to catching up with his many friends within the area as soon as current restrictions allow. Contact 07775 661942; peter.abbott@bickersplc.com

THOMPSON MOVES TO QUADZILLA

JACK THOMPSON HAS JOINED QUADZILLA, DISTRIBUTORS OF CFMOTO AND WK Bikes as motorcycle and scooter sales manager. Formerly at McAMS, Thompson is already well-known to many dealers. He was the winner of the BDN Representative of the Year award in 2019, and in the racing world Thompson was the 2018 Cup Champion in the No Limits Racing Series, as well as being a top 10 contender in the BSB Tri-Options series last year. Freddie Hinkley, MD at Quadzilla said; “Jack will be our man on the road to offer full support to our dealer network. He brings valuable experience to our team, as well as passion and drive for anything two-wheels. Contact 07854 361110; jack@quadzillaquads.com

KELLIE GROCOTT HAS BEEN APPOINTED RAC DIRECTOR OF SALES AT ASSURANT, THE COMPANY WHICH partners with the RAC in the aftersales sector. Grocott will be responsible for the RAC Dealer Network, which provides a range of warranties and related products bearing the RAC brand and numbers more than 1350 car, van, motorhome and motorcycle retailers in the UK, as well as delivering marketing, training and business consultancy support to them. Grocott has been the RAC account director at Assurant for the past three years, having held a variety of roles at the company, formerly known as The Warranty Group, since 2009, as part of a career in the automotive industry dating back more than 20 years. She said: “This is a time of change in the automotive industry, with retailers and their warranty providers adjusting to new ways of working. However, I’m confident that the products and structures behind the RAC Dealer Network place both us and our dealers in a strong position, and I’m very pleased to be taking over the RAC director of sales position.” KELLIE REPLACES SEAN KENT IN THE ROLE, WHO HAS BEEN PROMOTED WITHIN ASSURANT TO BECOME UK client director for automotive, with overall responsibility for RAC activity as well as Assurant’s automotive manufacturer and other automotive industry relationships. Kent said: “The RAC Dealer Network has become a considerable success in recent years and there is really nothing else quite like it in the UK used vehicle sector, providing dealers with the tools required to build a very convincing proposition. I’m looking forward to my new role within Assurant and continuing to be part of that story, and also very pleased to support Kellie’s promotion.”

Benelli saviour dies ANDREA MERLONI, THE MAN responsible for reviving Italy’s historic Benelli motorcycle brand, suffered a fatal heart attack at his home in Milan on 9 November. He was 53 years old. A keen bike racer, Merloni bought the defunct Benelli business in 1995. The purchase and subsequent relaunch was bankrolled by his billionaire father Vittorio Merloni’s Indesit white goods empire – which also included formerly British household appliance manufacturer Hotpoint in its portfolio.

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Initially, Merloni got Benelli back on the road with a scooter range. But then he rolled out the Tornado Tre superbike in 2001, powered by a Ricardo-designed 900cc triple. Inevitably, promotion focused on top-level motorcycle sport. Team Benelli fielded gritty Australian veteran Peter Goddard in the WSBK championship for two seasons. However, Tornado street derivatives never achieved anything remotely approaching commercial success. To pressurise his son into taking

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

a senior managerial role at Indesit, Vittorio Merloni eventually blocked further funding. Andrea Merloni was forced to sell the struggling Benelli concern to China’s Qianjiang Group in 2005. Benelli’s HQ has since remained in Italy but all bike production moved to Chinese plants. Following the death of Vittorio in 2016, the Merloni family sold Indesit to US white goods giant Whirlpool. Andrea, by then Indesit chief executive, opposed the decision. He nevertheless acquired a huge personal fortune from this

disposal. The final years of his life were primarily spent cruising the Mediterranean on a superyacht and amassing a classic motorcycle collection.

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International news

International news with Roger Willis, BDN Financial Editor

Roller-coaster ride

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embers of the global bike industry counting their beans on the calendar year are now three quarters of the way through Covid-stricken 2020. Many have mounted remarkably tough resistance to pandemic adversity.

BETTER TIMES FOR BMW BMW Motorrad has definitely joined the roster of motorcycle manufacturers successfully fighting back against Covid19’s assault, according to its nine-month and third-quarter results. On a January-September basis, revenue was only 8.3% down to £1.545bn. Global retail sales volume had recovered to just 5.4% behind the equivalent period in 2019, reaching a tally of 129,599 motorcycles and maxiscooters. Nevertheless, the pandemic’s impact on earnings across these nine months remained substantial. Associated operating profit plunged by 51.3% to £99m, with a 6.4% operating margin declining from 12.1%. Net profit attributable to the Motorrad sector halved to £68.4m. But a sharp turnaround was visible in Q3. Quarterly retail bike sales had blossomed, 20.9% up to 52,892, and revenue rose by 14.2% to £573.5m. Operating profit stacked on 28.6% to £40.5m and operating margin increased to 7.1% from 6.3%. Net profit climbed by 50% to £27m. While BMW will hope that pace of recovery is maintained through Q4, it is still forecasting a “moderate decrease” against the 175,162 bikes sold in the full 12 months of last year.

DUCATI REVS UP REBOUND Along with every other bike manufacturer, Volkswagen Group’s Ducati subsidiary has endured a torrid time in 2020. But its nine-monthly results were nevertheless surprisingly resilient and showed signs of rapid improvement in the third quarter. Revenue over the full period was 10.2% down at £458.7m, set against an 11.5% decline in global retail sales volume to 38,789 bikes. But within that, the brand enjoyed a powerful 21.4% surge in deliveries to customers during Q3 – a record total of 14,694 – regaining a lot of lost ground. All the same, operating profit for the year to date took a severe hit, plunging by 48.2% to £26.1m. As usual, this figure had been corrected for purchase price allocation purposes.

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Ducati’s naked range, covering Diavel, Monster and Streetfighter models, completely bucked an otherwise negative retail trend, rising by 15.4% to 13,035 bikes sold. The new Streetfighter V4, reaching dealers in March and subsequently joined by its S version, obviously played a role in that. Sports bikes did well too, sales falling by just 5.3% to 8330. Uprated Panigale V2 and V4 models, plus a limited-edition Superleggera V4 reaching dealers from June onwards, were contributors. In both these cases, a boost came from availability, given production levels matching or approaching 2019 output. Ducati assembled 13,029 samples of the former, a mere 0.2% short of the previous year, and 7251 of the latter, 9.3% lower. Multistrada and Hypermotard models weren’t so lucky. Production volume halved to 7643 and sales sank by 29.8% to 9889. These included the new Multistrada 1260S Grand Tour, a new Multistrada 950 GP White introduced since July and the new Hypermotard 950 RVE in showrooms from June. Despite two new Icon Dark models, the Scrambler sub-brand suffered as well, sales dropping by 22% to 7535 and production 23.4% down at 6185. Overall, Ducati’s production in the past nine months has shrunk by 23.2% to 34,108 bikes.

EMPTY RHETORIC FROM HARLEY Boasting that HarleyDavidson had sharpened focus and reignited its culture, to deliver the best third-quarter net income since 2015, the company then went on to reveal how meaningless that claim was, in a gruesome nine-month results statement. Harley’s total revenue suffered a 22.4% slump to £2.548bn. The portion attributable to motorcycles and related products was 26.1% down at £2.092bn. Both operating and net profit plunged by 76.2%, respectively to £98.9m and £74.8m. Wholesale shipments to dealers and distributors worldwide during the period fell by 28.3% to 124,325 bikes. Three-quarterly global retail bike sales for the brand sank by 18.1% to 146,953. US domestic consumption was 18.3% lower at 86,376, compared to a 5.8% decline for the American over-600cc market as a whole. There were 17.9% fewer overseas customers, who bought 60,577 machines. Among foreign big-league markets, Europe was 18.7% in arrears on 26,014 and the Asia-

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

Pacific region fell by a relatively modest 7.1% to 20,271. Canada was 27.2% down to 5668 and Latin America plummeted by 34.4% to 4760. And then an extraordinary alleged profitability turnaround occured in Q3, hailed as the magic touch of new Harley supremo Jochen Zeitz. Except the details didn’t bear close scrutiny. During a quarter when its major competitors were experiencing rapid recovery, Harley remained on the back foot in terms of key crunched numbers. Wholesale bike shipments were 6.2% down to 42,983 and global retail sales fell by 8.1% to 53,802. Total quarterly revenue dropped by 8.4% to £892.6m. Revenue from the motorcycles and related products segment was 9.8% lower at £739.8m. Zeitz had slashed selling, administration and engineering costs by £52.5m. But he had also been obliged to increase restructuring expenses by £27.5m, presumably to pay off the hundreds of senior and middle-ranking managers who have been invited to seek career opportunities elsewhere since his arrival. Segmental operating profit retreated by 0.5% to £35.9m. However, miraculously, overall operating profit climbed by 15.1% to £105.9m. How could that happen? Look no further than the Harley-Davidson Financial Services consumer credit arm, where clever accountants had tweaked bad-debt provisions against delinquent POS loans to deliver a 25.1% rise in HDFS segmental profit to £70m. Such good fortune subsequently translated into a splendid 38.9% net profit improvement, reaching £92.5m. Again, clever accountancy was to the fore. Harley’s tax bill had been reduced by 58.6%, thanks to “discrete income tax benefits”. Of course, speculators read headlines rather than the small print of accounts. So, on the day these results were published, Harley’s share price stacked on an amazing 22.1%. Some 24 hours later it had fallen by 4.4%, after investment bank Morgan Stanley downgraded the shares to “equal weight” between buy and sell. A Morgan Stanley analyst urged caution, on the basis that while investors had embraced management plans to revive the brand, their excitement needed support by quantitative targets, which were not yet in place.

STRONG RECOVERY FOR POLARIS Although its nine-monthly figures were still fairly grim, US powersports manufacturer Polaris bounced back tremendously in the third quarter of 2020, with booming off-road vehicle (ORV) and motorcycle sales leading the way.

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Q3 covering July through to September proved to be an entirely different story. Overall revenue was 10.3% up to £1.498bn. Operating profit soared by 83.7% to £183.5m and net profit achieved an 88.7% increase at £127.9m. The ORV revenue contribution rose by 11.8% to £988.1m. Motorcycles were 11.3% up to £128m. During the quarter, US domestic retail sales for both the Indian and Slingshot brands were more than 40% higher. And profitability of Indian overseas sales was boosted by a much larger quantity of bikes being produced at the Polaris plant in Poland, thereby avoiding EU retaliatory tariffs. Commenting on this turnaround, Polaris chairman and chief executive Scott Wine opined that numbers could have been even better, but “were somewhat limited by supplychain capacity constraints”. He added: “Demand has remained strong to start the fourth quarter and we expect our sales and earnings momentum to continue

for the rest of the year. This pushes our expectations for overall company performance to exceed pre-Covid targets for 2020.”

PIAGGIO REVIVAL GATHERS SPEED Inevitably, Piaggio Group performance in the nine months to September continued to show the deleterious effects of early-season pandemic lockdowns. But third-quarter positivity provided a powerful recovery boost. For the year to date, total revenue stood at £893.2m, a 17.2% decline. Turnover from powered two-wheelers fell by 6.7%, contributing £716.5m. Global sales volume during the period was 11.7% down to 284,100 scooters and motorcycles. Group operating profit dropped by 36.1% to £57.2m, with operating margin deteriorating to 6.4% from 8.3%. Net profit was 36.7% lower at £26.2m. However, operating expenses had been cut by 15.8% to £199.8m in the period. And, although net debt had grown by 8.9% year-on-year to £399.8m, it had fallen by £75.2m in Q3 – thanks to a big surge in cashflow from rapidly recovering sales and “cautious management of working capital”. According to Piaggio chairman and chief executive Roberto Colaninno, Q3 achieved much better results than he expected. Quarterly revenue apparently grew by about 3%, operating profit was 59% up and net profit 75% higher. Scooter sales volume rebounded in most major markets, with Vespa products adding double-digit percentages in Germany, the Netherlands, America and various Asian

nations, especially China. Moto Guzzi and Aprilia motorcycles also did particularly well. Returning to the nine-monthly position, India was hardest hit, 50.1% down by volume and losing 37.5% in value. European and American markets did better, with retreats of only 5% by volume and 7.6% in value. The Asia Pacific region actually prospered, as volume increased by 2% and revenue added 7.5%.

THIN BOTTOM LINE FOR YAMAHA Nine-monthly results for Yamaha’s motorcycle operations benefited from a muscular rebound in the most recent July-September quarter. But profitability was emaciated. Year-to-date revenue from bikes was 20.7% down to £4.285bn, with global unit sales volume falling by 29.3% to 2.707 million. Yamaha’s Land Mobility division, in which motorcycles account for almost 90% of turnover, suffered a 19.3% revenue decline to £4.887bn and operating profit plummeting by 74.8% to just £64m. Big developed markets did best. Although European volume was 4% lower at 145,000 bikes, a Q3 sales surge meant associated revenue for the nine months from Europe improved marginally by 0.3% to £765m. North American volume was 18.7% down to 39,000 and revenue sank by 11.2% to £205m. Japan’s domestic market volume shrank by 7% to 66,000 with revenue 4.6% in arrears at £208m. Yamaha’s major emerging market crumbled to a much greater degree. Asian sales volume plunged by 32.5% to 2.173 million bikes. Revenue dropped by 27.3% to £2.551bn.

VW mulls Ducati future again MV Credit boost BUSINESS NEWS AGENCY REUTERS HAS BEEN carrying fairly vague and unattributed rumours that Volkswagen Group is once again reviewing the status of non-core luxury brands, specifically Ducati, Lamborghini and Bugatti. This move is apparently part of a five-year planning round geared to an urgent shift towards mass-market electric cars. With “three people familiar with the matter” quoted as anonymous sources, Reuters said options under review include technology partnerships, restructuring, listing for share flotations and outright disposal. Pertinent to the latter, the agency claimed VW had held “preliminary talks with potential bidders for its Ducati brand to gauge potential interest in the motorcycle maker” in advance of November’s planning event. VW chairman Herbert Deiss first expressed a desire to get rid of subsidiaries deemed surplus to requirements in 2017, identifying Ducati as one of several prime targets. But his attempt comprehensively hit the buffers, in the face of fierce opposition from powerful trades union representatives on the Group’s supervisory board. Union attitudes are likely to have hardened since then, given that less labour-intensive assemblies involved in

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electrification pose a major threat to jobs. However, Diess did manage to proceed quite far with distancing a motley collection of unloved commercial-vehicle brands from VW’s key car manufacturing ethos. He transformed the Volkswagen Truck & Bus subsidiary, which encapsulated MAN and Scania, plus a stake in America’s Navistar truck brand, into a seperate German stock corporation (AG) in 2018. Shortly afterwards, it was remonikered as Traton AG then converted into a European entity, Traton SE. Once the VW van business had been shuffled sideways into VW cars’ aegis, Traton was listed in Frankfurt and Stockholm. Some 11.5% of its shares were floated off via an initial public offering on these exchanges in June 2019. VW Group trousered £1.38bn from this exercise and is now perfectly positioned to reduce its Traton holding further whenever the opportunity arises. A similar semi-independence approach to an ultimate exit might be both more politically acceptable and lucrative for Ducati and Lamborghini. Both are profitable and would be attractive to equity investors. Bugatti, a vanity project building very small quantities of premium-priced supercars, where returns are never going to cover R&D expenditure, is another matter altogether.

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lthough MV Agusta styles itself as an ultra-premium aspirational brand, the company is rapidly developing consumer credit options across European markets, under the MV Agusta Finance banner. To increase accessibility for a larger range of potential customers, it has just launched MV Agusta Finance through dealerships in France, Germany and Spain. These rely on leading specialist funding partners in each country, respectively Crédit Agricole, CreditPlus and Soyou. They follow similar initiatives rolled out in the UK and Italy earlier this year, in conjunction with MotoNovo for the creditworthy clientele of British MV dealers and Crédit Agricole’s Italian subsidiary Agos Ducato on the domestic front. “MV Agusta Finance is becoming increasingly important as an element of our sales strategy,” explained MV Agusta Motor global sales director Raffaele Giusta. “Appealing to a wider audience and broadening our customer base are the ultimate goals and constitute pillars of MV Agusta’s growth plans for the near future. Together with our new partnerships, we will make the MV Agusta dream come true for thousands of bikers.” www.mvagusta.com

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

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International news

Across nine months to the end of September, total Polaris revenue has fallen by 3.5% to £3.735bn. This resulted in an operating loss of £38.7m, against an operating profit of £266.4m in the same period of 2019. Likewise, the company incurred a net loss of £56.7m, versus a net profit of £172.4m last year. Turnover from the dominant ORV sector comprising quadbikes, side-by-side ATVs and snowmobiles declined marginally by 0.1% to £2.35bn. Motorcycle revenue from Indian bikes and Slingshot trikes was 6.4% down at £333.2m.


International news

International news Glasses half full

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he three Japanese bike brands tied to an old-style fiscal year beginning in April hit coronavirus head-on. Six months later, their ability to escape that impact has been varied.

FAST LANE RECOVERY FOR HONDA Although it has taken a hammering, Honda’s motorcycle business is roaring away from rivals in the fight against pandemic effects, as half-year results to the end of September amply demonstrate. In the first six months of its current fiscal year, total revenue fell by 27.3% to £5.645bn. But turnover had recovered by 80% from Q1 to Q2. Similarly, a half-yearly operating profit of £586m was 46.1% down. However, the Q2 contribution was six times higher than Q1’s meagre earnings. In sharp contrast, while the much bigger Honda car business is also recovering and returned to profitability during Q2, it still posted a £519m first-half operating loss. At the halfway point, global wholesale bike volume (including Honda-branded machines made by joint-venture affiliates) had sunk by 36.9% to 6.322 million. In stronger and more lucrative developed markets, Japanese domestic sales suffered the least, just 2.7% down at 109,000. North America fell by 5.4% to 141,000 and Europe lost 12.1% on 124,000. Asia bore the brunt, plunging by 38.5% to 5.502 million. Among larger Asian nations, India was 44.2% in arrears at 1.495 million. Indonesia, cursed by tightened consumercredit criteria on top of the Covid-19 impact, dived by 55.2% to 1.093 million. Thailand

dropped by 35.1% to 434,000. Doing somewhat better, Vietnam was 24% down at 997,000. Pakistan and the Philippines respectively fell by 25.3% to 393,000 and 27.1% to 217,000. Icing on the cake came from China, which had already begun to rebound during Q1, in the shape of 18.1% growth to 608,000. Honda expects to accelerate recovery during the second half of its fiscal year to the end of March 2021. The company has stuck with a wholesale forecast of 14.8 million bikes for the full 12 months, a 23.5% shortfall on the previous year’s tally of 19.34 million.

TEAM GREEN LANGUISHES IN THE RED Loss-making throughout its previous fiscal year and the first quarter of a new one, the motorcycle division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries has continued to suffer six months in. Half-yearly revenue to the end of September stood at £1.031bn, a 5.1% decline. But improving second-quarter sales volume of motorcycles in Europe, and off-road bikes and vehicles in the US, helped to reduce an accrued operating loss over six months to £37.6m. However, the company sees little prospect of cutting that deficit by much in its full-year forecast. During the April-September period, Kawasaki motorcycle sales in developed countries (primarily North America and Europe) fell by 9% to 61,000. Associated revenue was 2.8% down to £362m. Bikes for emerging markets were hit much harder, with volume shrinking by 46.8% to 84,000 and revenue plunging by 27.9% to £193m. On a brighter note, sales of utility vehicles,

ATVs and personal watercraft were 9.4% up to 35,000, boosting revenue by 15.8% to £331m. General-purpose petrol engines contributed another £145m. Ongoing losses were broadly blamed on a significant decrease in emerging markets, compounded by adverse foreign exchange effects, specifically appreciation of the yen against the US dollar and emerging-market currencies.

SUZUKI REGAINS SOME LOST GROUND After first-quarter slaughter from the initial pandemic surge, Suzuki Motor Corporation’s motorcycle business has shown some progress in half-year results to the end of September. Six months into its fiscal year, Suzuki bike revenue was 29.6% down to £654.6m, culminating in an operating loss of £26.8m, versus a slim operating profit of £12.8m in the same period of 2019. However, £21.7m of the aforementioned loss had been incurred during Q1. The brand’s global bike sales volume has fallen by 23.2% to 675,000. Within that, Asian emerging markets including India were responsible for 514,000 of them, retreating by 28.5%. Developed markets fared better. European sales were 11.5% down to 23,000. But North America actually boasted a 47.6% increase to 31,000. Japanese domestic sales flatlined on 27,000. Suzuki’s full-year sales forecast is for a 13.5% decline to 1.478 million bikes. Asia is expected to be 15.9% lower at 1.181 million. Europe should be static on 41,000, while a 22.9% increase to 43,000 is anticipated for America.

Pierer plays musical shares

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ustrian motorcycling mogul Stefan Pierer’s holding company Pierer Industrie has rebooted discussions with India’s second-largest indigenous bike manufacturer Bajaj Auto, with a view to simplification of the latter’s shareholding structure with Pierer Mobility. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports, with difficulty… Don’t hold your breath. This is complicated and it may take some time to get a grip. Pierer Industrie owns very slightly more than 60% of the shares in Pierer Mobility, a public company listed on stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Zurich. In turn, Pierer Mobility holds approximately 51.7% of the shares in KTM, an operating entity which actually makes and markets KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas motorcycles, plus various e-bicycle brands. Bajaj Auto International Holdings has an approximate 48% stake in KTM. Pierer Mobility has been informed by Pierer Industrie and Bajaj that they are again assessing the possibility of transferring Bajaj’s slice of the KTM action to Pierer Mobility, with Pierer Industrie

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DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

continuing to retain its controlling majority. Pierer Industrie and Bajaj will now evaluate the proposals in detail. In preparation for this possible transaction, Pierer Industrie is to transfer its 60% of Pierer Mobility to “PTW Holding” through a contribution in kind, which will thus become a direct 60% shareholder of Pierer Mobility. If a decision is taken to execute the transaction, Pierer Mobility will consider the legal and economic requirements and conditions of a capital increase by contribution in kind from the existing authorised capital of the company. This would enable an increase of up to 50% of the existing share capital. When the music stops, Pierer Mobility will be sitting on approximately 99.7% of KTM’s unlisted shares, up from the current 51.7%. Pierer Industrie will retain a majority of Pierer Mobility’s listed shares, with Bajaj also holding a proportionate quantity. And there will presumably still be a modest free float changing hands between outside investors.

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he Kawasaki Heavy Industries motorcycle and engine division is to be spun off into a separate entity by October 2021. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports. According to the parent, this decision recognises that its mainstay powersports elements led by motorcycles and ORVs are unique, as Kawasaki’s only consumerfacing operation addressing a mass market. It therefore plays an overall flagship role building brand strength. In a sweeping vision statement riddled with gobbledegook, KHI explained that spinning off the division would speed up decision-making, by driving even greater autonomy in management and leveraging business-to-consumer characteristics. These will, it said: “Strengthen the brand by providing products and services in sync with customers, including new lifestyle offerings focusing on the post Covid-19 environment, strengthen collaboration within the industry and revitalise the market through focus on compliance with environmental regulations, as well as progress in electric drive and advanced safety technologies.” Grand strategy aside, the statement also alluded to tactics aimed at improving the division’s financial position in the face of

an ageing customer base. To this end, it is to construct a US plant manufacturing dirt bikes and ORVs. Presumably Kawasaki planners have noted that the huge rural American offroad market’s broadly unregulated appetite for petrol-engined machines will last much longer than in snowflake jurisdictions inflicting zero-emission ideology. Returning to KHI’s visionary stance, the forthcoming stand-alone status will be qualified by pursuit of intra-industry cooperation – such as through joint development of electrification as well as greater commonality of functional parts, in order to “catalyse growth in the powersports business”. The motorcycle and engine division will also be obliged to instigate “innovative projects to capture new business opportunities”. These initiatives include extending corporate resources to mass-production activities in cooperation with KHI’s precision machinery and robot division. That tie-up will involve collaborating in the agricultural machinery and turf care markets, in hydraulic systems and general-purpose engines, and promoting the development of near-future mobility by incorporating robotics and remote technologies.

BRP bucks the bug ALTHOUGH CANADA’S BOMBARDIER Recreational Products (BRP) caught Covid like everybody else in the industry, it achieved pretty impressive third-quarter results. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports. During the nine months of a current fiscal year which somewhat bizarrely covers February through to the end of October, BRP’s global revenue was 6.7% down to £2.39bn. But losses from a pandemic-induced production halt in the springtime slashed overall operating profit by 46.8% to £125.1m. And net profit plunged by 60.9% to £57m. However, its North American powersport sales had held up very well, led by quadbikes and side-by-side ORVs, with a 23% rise. So going forward into Q3 meant rapid recovery. Revenue in the most recent quarter increased by 1.9% year-on-year to £969m. Assiduous cost-cutting wiped £31m off operating expenses, resulting in an operating profit 36.7% higher at £164.4m. Net profit surged by a tremendous 46.9% to £114.9m – in both cases removing red ink at the end of July. Unsurprisingly, BRP chief executive José Boisjoli was “very pleased” with Q3 performance. He added: “I would also like to thank the remarkable dedication of our employees, dealers and suppliers, who have risen to the occasion and allowed us to continue to deliver exceptional results while still ensuring the health and safety of our people everywhere around the world.”

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LIGHT UP SALES FOR WINTER! Denali’s new D7 is the brightest light under 4.5 inches!

VAST STOCK LEVELS ACROSS THE DENALI RANGE ! www.britishdealernews.co.uk FAST DELIVERY ! DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

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International news

Stand-alone move for Kwaka


Off-road news

The UK’S TOP SELLING OFF-ROAD RACE WEAR 01900 873456 www.wulfsport.com

SHORT CUTS HAWKSTONE

SALOP MOTOR CLUB HAS INDICATED THAT the 2021 Hawkstone International will be provisionally held on 14 March. In a statement released by event secretary Gary Ford, Salop MC said: “We await further announcements from the UK government before we can say whether it will be possible to go ahead but we will update everybody when we have news, for now, everybody stay safe and follow the guidelines and hopefully we will have some positive information in 2021.”

SUZUKI

SUZUKI’S RM-Z450 AND RM-Z250 MACHINES featuring new 2021 graphics will be available from January. Changes are minimal as the RMZ450 was redesigned in 2018 with a new chassis, making it the first production motocross machine to adopt Showa’s premium, race-proven balance free shock. The RM-Z250 benefitted from similar treatment a year later and additionally received a heavily revised engine for more power and torque. Both bikes get the Suzuki’s holeshot assist control and traction management systems. For more information on Suzuki’s off-road range visit go to www.bikes.suzuki.co.uk/mx

ACU LICENSES

DUE TO THE UNAVOIDABLE LACK OF training this year, there are a large number of officials who currently hold a Regional or National, Trial or Enduro Clerk of the Course licence which is due to expire at the end of 2020. As such, the T&E Committee has agreed to extend Clerk of the Course Regional or National licences until 31 December 2021. Centres are requested to submit the names of those officials who they wish to put forward for an extension. Please send to Mary Kerr – mary@acu. org.uk. Individual officials should initially contact their Centres to be added to the list. An extension will only be granted to officials who have been put forward by their Centre and are existing 2020 licence holders.

Off-road news ‘Unbloodybelievably’ busy year

T

he last time we spoke to Marsh MX it was the biggest off-road dealership in the UK. When the current building works at its South Wales site are complete it will be the largest in Europe. That’s because the existing 950m2 (10,225sq.ft) will be joined by another 750m2 (8073sq.ft) of mezzanine floor space. Are you sure? I hear you ask. Isn’t that a bit risky under the current circumstances? Well, owner Gareth Marsh put it this way: “We’ve been unbloodybelievably busy this year – the number of bikes we’ve sold has been way over the previous year. We’ve sold right across the board, quads, enduros, trials, you name it. The showroom’s blocked with kids’ quads waiting to go out for Christmas.” The junior and kids sector is another healthy part of the business, catered for mainly with electric bikes and quads from the likes of Torrot, Kuberg, GasGas and SMC. Of course, as Gareth says, the seasonal benefits are not to be sniffed at. According to Marsh, the dealership has been so busy that it’s running out of stock and he’s getting 20-30 phone calls a day that he can’t fulfil. So he’s acquiring more franchises. “I’ve taken on Husqvarna Road and eBikes, GasGas eBikes and another big band I can’t tell you about at the moment. We’ve got the Sur-Ron electric bikes, but we can’t get enough of them – as soon as they come in they go out. In fact for every brand we’ve got we’re number one in sales.” Agricultural quads used to be the mainstay of that sector for Marsh MX but now it’s the leisure quads. Marsh puts this down to ‘men of a certain age’ who would like to treat themselves to a motorcycle but when they discover that they can ride a 1000cc quad on a car licence and still have some of the fun of a motorcycle they jump at the chance. “I’ve been selling road-legal buggies at 24 grand like they’re

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DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

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going out of fashion,” he insists. Brands available here are Can-Am, TGB and Yamaha. As they say, success breeds success and if, at the end of the year, an importer has any old stock left, Marsh MX will do them a deal. Additionally, the business has recently gone online with its clothing, helmets and accessories, initially to take advantage of the Christmas trade, it will also be listing spares for some of its major brands. Despite Wales having more than its fair share of Covid chaos, it doesn’t seem to be affecting business in Merthyr Tydfil – quite the reverse in fact. Marsh MX 01685 385201

FRANCHISES HELD BY MARSH MX • Honda Off-Road • Honda Montesa Trials • Yamaha Utility ATV • Yamaha Sports ATV • Kawasaki Off-Road • Husqvarna Off-Road

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Your thoughts and opinions on the trade’s top topics

Your thoughts and opinions on the topics that make the trade tick are welcomed: editorial@dealernews.co.uk BDN, 10 Daddon Court, Clovelly Road Industrial Estate, Bideford, EX39 3FH

STAR LETTER The best deal – or is it?

J

ust had an interesting phone call and I wondered if you wanted to put the conversation in your letters section. It went like this: Me: “Good afternoon. How can I help?” Customer: “Oh thank heavens you are open, I heard you were closed (slightly embarrassed pause) due to Covid or something”. Me: “No, we’ve been open right the way through”. Customer: “Great, I hope you can help me. I have bought a new XYZ and I’ve only done 35 miles on it and it’s stopped”.

A

s I write this, we are halfway through the second week of the second lockdown. Closing the economy down can never be a good thing but I suppose if it had to happen, this is probably the best time for our industry. Having said that, the full might of the NFDA and NMDA was employed to lobby the government, trying to keep car, LCV, truck and motorcycle dealerships open. In my opinion, there was absolutely no reason that we all needed to shut. In the main, we all operate from spacious premises, take sensible precautions and have actively established Covid secure environments. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the lobbying was unsuccessful, as it was for the majority of other industries. But as the old adage goes: “Better to try and fail than not try at all”. The effort however, was not wasted. If, God forbid, we are forced into another lockdown next year we have made our point and contacts have been established and we might just get an exemption next time around. The motor trade is hugely important to the UK economy. The motorcycle industry alone employs approximately 81,500 people (www.motorcycleguidelines.org.uk/wp-content/ uploads/2013/08/Motorcycle-IndustryManufacturing-Public-Policy.pdf). These jobs are important in normal times, but during the pandemic, our sector has also provided Covid-Safe transport for key workers and the booming last mile delivery services. The decision to stop the provision of CBTs is not one that we agree with. Jobs depend on riders having a current CBT, where training

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Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but we are no longer dealers for that brand. We separated nearly two years ago”. Customer: “What can I do, I don’t know where my nearest dealer is?” Me: “Well they are about 75 miles away in either direction. Where did you buy your bike from?” Customer: “I got it from XYZ. They offered the best deal in the UK”. Me: “Yes Sir, that’s why we don’t stock that brand anymore.” Best deal? I wonder If the customer still thinks buying a motorcycle for the biggest

discount is the best deal? I wonder does (enter your own manufacturer name here) still agree that discounting is the answer when dealers are walking away because there is no profit? Oh, and if you haven’t guessed who we are, never mind, but boy oh boy are we glad to be away from discounting high value product. I even caught myself smiling on the way into work last week! Name and address supplied

STAR LETTER WRITER

Will receive a SilverBack ack cleaning kit, worth over £55 retail value OFFICIAL DISTRIBUTOR

Here we go again! is taken outside, with a crash helmet on your head! What could be more Covid-secure than that? On a positive note, should we be in this position again, we (the NMDA) have cultivated a considerable amount of support to re-apply pressure. There is currently a petition gathering momentum that you can sign to add weight to the argument: petition. parliament.uk/petitions/558548.

We want your

Views Your thoughts and opinions on the topics that make the trade tick are welcomed: editorial@dealernews.co.uk BDN, 10 Daddon Court, Clovelly Road Industrial Estate, Bideford, EX39 3FH Motor Industry Legal Services (MILS) provided a comprehensive lockdown update which made for uncomfortable reading. To summarise: workshops can stay open; you can offer ‘Click and Collect’ but not in the showroom and offering a demo is a no-no. It appears locally to me, that other businesses in a similar industry are doing whatever they like. My business is essential to me and also directly and indirectly, feeds a lot of mouths. Furlough helps but can be likened to a drug

that we need to get off asap. By that, I mean the country, not just the motorcycle trade. We are aware that some businesses are doing what they can to survive and we certainly don’t advocate breaking the law. But when all the various Covid loans don’t get repaid, we know who will end up being the ones paying for it. Looking around though, I am thankful to be a motorcycle dealer, there is no better industry to be in, particularly at the minute. You wouldn’t want a hotel, a pub or even a strip club. They would be losing you a fortune. The motorcycle industry is so complicated that the large corporations have always struggled to roll it out in any scale. The complexities of retailing a mechanical product that is wrapped in huge amounts of emotion make a strange and alien business model. In fact, I can’t think of a more complex business. Maybe that’s what makes it so interesting. At the NMDA we are compiling some ‘Hands-On Guides’ for members to help understand parts of the business, from the operational level. We welcome any feedback from our members on areas like this, so that we can better help motorcycle dealers. On a personal note, I am continuing my campaign to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes by writing a letter to all the committee members and councillors of Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM). The current lockdown will likely slow this down but that will not stop me pushing the matter. Above all don’t catch Covid, keep safe, ride safe and make the best of what’s left of twenty-twenty. Phillip Youles, Chairman, NMDA

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CE Mark is here to stay

he CE mark will not “potentially disappear from our shores” (British Dealer News newsletter: 29/10/2020). In a global market, motorcycling apparel will most likely be dual marked with the CE Mark and the UKCA Mark. It will in fact be permitted to place CE marked products onto the UK market up to the 31st of December 2021. From the 1st of January 2022, however, the UKCA mark must appear on product packaging, and from the 1st of January 2022 the product itself must be labelled with the UKCA Mark – and as I have stated above, both the CE and UKCA marks will probably be present, since for simplification and flexibility of distribution this represents the logical approach. The standards will remain the same as they currently are – BS EN 17092 for clothing, BS

Off the

CUFF A new light-hearted column providing dealers with a platform to pass on customer comments and their own views. STEVE PLAIN MOTORCYCLES

“CACHU ABSOLIWT” WAS THE EXPLICIT (IN WELSH IT MEANS ABSOLUTE shit) ‘off-the-cuff’ response from Steve Plain Motorcycles, the off-road dealer in Llandrindod Wells, mid-Wales. Plain went on to say: “Not really, we’ve had an unbelievable last couple of months with good bike sales from what can only be pent-up rider demand. The relief to at last be able to get out, plus more disposable income through holiday savings, have done it. We’re also fully booked with suspension work, and clothing is selling well. Perhaps best of all we sold 25 eBikes in the last six weeks across all ages. Fantastic! Even the hikers and canal bank walkers are now saying a friendly hello to the new riders! Times are certainly changing and cannot remember it being as good as this.”

GILDOS MOTORCYCLE CENTRE

01405 480000 sales@hendler.co.uk www.hendler.co.uk

GILDOS MOTORCYCLE CENTRE IS A LONG-ESTABLISHED FAMILY BUSINESS in Wisbech, Cambs, and boss Adam Gilding offered some sage advice: “How do you make a small fortune out of the motorcycle trade? Easy. You start with a large fortune…” He went on: “It’s wrong that we have successive government regulations that treat motorcyclists as secondclass citizens. They seem to have a need to over control our unique transport freedom and identity. The high street’s demise should be seen as a warning for manufacturers consumed with promoting their brand in expensive, soulless corporate settings. There is a new generation and many potential riders out there have very different needs.”

EN 13594 for gloves, BS EN 13634 for footwear and the BS EN 1621 series for impact protection components. BSI will remain a member of European standards body CEN, will continue to contribute to the development of standards, with BSI delegates still participating in the work of CEN committees, and will publish the resultant documents as British Standards, just as it does now. Nothing is final, however, and the above represents the situation as it stands at the time of writing. What happens hinges on a decision from the British government: deal or no deal. This will determine when the UKCA process can start, although in the event of a deal it may be postponed or dropped altogether. Paul Varnsverry, Technical Director PVA-PPE Group

AMS MOTORCYCLES

ANOTHER RURAL LOCATION IS AMS MOTORCYCLES IN WICK, CAITHNESS, where owner Paul Steven said: “Crazy business for October and November, we sold seven big capacity used bikes and four new Aprilias. Tyre sales have gone through the roof and the workshop is well booked. Very little Covid impact round here and most of our regulars are 40 years plus, with youth interest limited – so not much change there.” He adds: “I’ve been in the family business for over twenty years. Low overheads and rates help it to stack up. I cannot remember a November and December as busy and rewarding as this.”

HGB MOTORCYCLES AND DAYTONA MOTORCYCLES

HGB MOTORCYCLES AND DAYTONA MOTORCYCLES IN RUISLIP, LONDON, ARE long established multi-franchise dealerships owned by Mike Harrington. He says: “I want this to come across as a fair and constructive observation. We have no new 125cc scooters to sell and little chance of receiving any stock until well into the New Year. Demand for the scooter sector increased last March and has continued to be strong, so we should be in a better supply situation after these early signals. Euro 4 and 5 transition dictates now and hopefully an early solution is found. I don’t really like being told monthly what models we can buy, I would rather have what we know we can sell. Scooter delivery riders in London, for example, are very brand conscious and the N Max and PCX 125 have been a mainstay for them. He adds: “Interesting is the attitude change from younger riders who seem to have little interest in owning two wheels and see them as just another disposable commodity. I’m holding my breath for what happens in the new season.”

WILDCAT SCOOTERS

WILDCAT SCOOTERS IN NEWPORT, GWENT, IS CO-OWNED BY BOB RENDELL: “We decided twelve months ago to exit from new scooter sales to concentrate on our core business in the classic scene with used scooters, parts and memorabilia. Yes, we have missed the footfall and the new customer contact, but in this online world it’s the answer for us and we are in control. We still retain a good 30 to 50 year old customer base and we’re keeping positive for whatever 2021 brings.”

TWO WHEEL CENTRE

NICK NOMIKOS HEADS THE FAMILY RUN TWO WHEEL CENTRE IN Harpenden, Herts. Reflecting on a tough year and lack of promotion for new riders and racing he says: “We hear plenty about Lewis Hamilton which is fine, but hardly any national press mention for the superb ambassador we have in Jonathan Rea, who also has 98 race wins. We surely could do more with social media platforms to create new rider interest and a government that recognises our transport compliant credentials.”

Give BDN your “Off the Cuff” thoughts. They might just make a difference! e: editorial@dealernews.co.uk t: 01237 422660 e: john.featherstone1@hotmail.com t: 07541 998290

Have you got an opinion or viewpoint that would be of interest to the motorcycle trade? BDN welcomes feedback and views on what makes the trade tick. Drop us a line on: editorial@dealernews.co.uk BDN, 10 Daddon Court, Clovelly Road Industrial Estate, Bideford, EX39 3FH HEAD OF CONTENT Andy Mayo: editorial@dealernews.co.uk tel 01237 422660; 07780 857693 FINANCIAL EDITOR Roger Willis: motobusiness@icloud.com PRODUCTS EDITOR / DESIGN MANAGER Colin Williams: design@dealernews.co.uk DESIGNER Maurice Knuckey: creative@dealernews.co.uk WRITERS Roger Willis; Adam Bernstein, Dan Sagar, Brian Crichton; Suzanne Potts; Rick Kemp; John Featherstone; Frank Finch; Alan Dowds ACCOUNTS MANAGER Mark Mayo: accounts@dealernews.co.uk ADVERTISING Alison Payne: tel 07595 219093 Paul Baggott: tel 07831 863837 adsales@dealernews.co.uk CIRCULATION circulation@dealernews.co.uk TAIWAN AGENCY Albert Yang, Pro Media Co: info@promedia.com tel +886 4 7264437 PUBLISHER Colin Mayo: editorial@dealernews.co.uk ADVANCE COPY DEADLINES • February Issue 13 January 2021 • March Issue 10 Feb 2021 • April Issue 10 March 2021

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Financing the deal

THE DEAL T

he Covid-19 pandemic has put a lot of stress onto motorcycle dealers. And some may feel that imminent introduction of stricter Financial Conduct Authority rules on point-of-sale funding provision constitutes a double whammy. But, as leading lenders in the market point out, the FCA transparency changes on commissions are actually an opportunity to enhance customer trust, confidence and retention, rather than an unwelcome imposition. Nothing stands still, and they could be described as an object lesson that there are always better ways to do business. Remember, while commissions remain a valid income stream, the primary role of finance is to facilitate sales. A fair deal is the best deal, for both parties in any transaction.

Many more bikers will have become accustomed to buying their desired hardware via software Likewise, the pandemic’s impact has had a positive side. It’s been an unavoidable wakeup call to embrace digitalisation throughout the retail sales process, including finance. “Click and Collect” are more than just temporary buzzwords. When we eventually return to something resembling normality, many more bikers will have become accustomed to buying their desired hardware via software. Last November’s healthy new bike registrations volume during lockdown, when every showroom in England was obligatorily closed to visitors, conclusively proved that particular trend. From virtual tyre-kicking right through to negotiating purchase and means of payment, the connected electronic world is here to stay.

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DEC 2020/JAN 2021

Close Brothers Motor Finance Laura Ainscough, Close Brothers Motor Finance brand manager, details how the funding provider has guided dealers through a new regulatory environment and helped them cope with Covid19’s challenges

• Clarifying commission disclosure rules to increase transparency for customers This means dealers are required to disclose any commission payments, including the amount, in advance of an agreement being signed by a customer in circumstances where it has the potential to affect the dealer impartiality in recommending FCA RULES – WHAT’S CHANGING AND WHY? a particular lender or The Financial Conduct product; or it could have Authority (FCA) has reviewed Throughout a material impact on the the way the motor finance industry works and found that the pandemic, customer’s decision to take up the finance offer; or if the changes were needed to protect we’ve kept customer asks. customers and provide them with more information when lending and The FCA rules apply buying a vehicle on finance. have not directly to both lenders like The new FCA regulations, us and dealers like you. We published in July 2020, set out changed our need to make these changes expectations centred around credit appetite together to fully comply with two key areas: the new regulations and • Banning discretionary ensure good customer outcomes. Embracing pricing models linked to commission these changes together will protect your This means dealers will no longer be able business and your income streams while to adjust customer interest rates and continuing to offer solutions to your finance commission will have no link to customers who want or need finance. the rates your customers pay. 

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DETERMINING THE CUSTOMER RATE We’ll be using historical data and our knowledge of your business to create a bespoke pricing model that’s right for you, for us, and most importantly, your customers. Your new pricing model will determine the interest rate a customer pays, which will be based on their individual level of risk that is determined by their credit score. We have set four risk categories and the customers interest rate will be set based on the segment they fall into. There will no longer be a rate spread, you won’t be able adjust the customer rate at all.

DEALER COMMISSION Your commission will still be calculated as a percentage of the amount borrowed by the customer. To meet our obligation to disclose commission earned through finance sales, we’re making changes to the information we provide customers, both at the quote stage and within the credit agreement itself. This will highlight the existence of dealer commission ahead of the customer making their final decision.

HOW WE’RE SUPPORTING OUR MOTORCYCLE DEALER PARTNERS We started talking to our motorcycle dealer partners about the upcoming regulation changes in late September. In a series of emails, we highlighted what was changing and why, along with what you can expect from us to ensure these changes are in place before the FCA deadline of the end of January 2021. Our motorcycle account specialists began the process of rolling out these changes to dealers from mid-November, either face to face or virtually, in accordance with the latest Government Covid-19 safety guidance. On an individual business level, our motorcycle account specialists will help to make something complex easy to understand and straightforward to implement in practice. We’ll make it clear to you what you need to do and how it affects your business and customers. There will be supporting material and information made available to dealers through

the process including our FCA changes dealer hub, hosted on our website. We’re committed to supporting our dealer partners through these changes every step of the way. We have replicated our new approach to setting customer interest rates and commission across our previous pricing models to ensure our flexible and bespoke rate packages allow you to continue selling in the way you’re used to. Our motorcycle account specialists will bring their expertise to support you through these regulatory changes, so you can focus on selling bikes.

FCA CHANGES DEALER HUB www.closemotorfinance.co.uk/dealer/fca-changes • View our infographic Five things you need to know about the FCA regulations. • Only got 90 seconds? Watch our video to find out about the changes and what they mean for you.

SUPPORTING DEALER PARTNERS THROUGH COVID During the last national lockdown, and now through the second in England, we’ve remained open for business. We’re here to support you through challenging times. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve kept lending and have not changed our credit appetite. We have a long history of supporting partners and their customers in tough economic climates as well as when the going is good. All our motorcycle account specialists have been available, either in person or on the phone, five days a week (some seven days) throughout lockdown. We have not furloughed any of our colleagues. We created a partner hub with useful content and helpful updates to support you running your business in unusual times. For example: • How to survive during new restrictions • What government support is there for my business?  • Protecting your business from phishing attacks Since launching our partner hub at the start of the first national lockdown we’ve received over 9000 page views. The impact of coronavirus, and the UK’s national and local lockdowns, placed even greater importance on having customerfacing digital tools central to the vehicle buying process. We’ve accelerated our existing

plans to improve our digital offering for our dealer partners. We introduced Remote Quote and Apply free of charge to all showroom users, to allow your customers to get finance quotes from the comfort of their sofas, providing you with a lead pipeline when footfall is significantly down or even non-existent. In the six months since launch, we’ve seen the average number of finance sales arranged per dealer using the functionality increase by 67%. The average customer conversion from interacting with the tool to signing a finance agreement stands at 32%. We have a range of digital banners for dealers to use on their websites or their retail listings in the likes of the Auto Trader to make sure they’re there for customers very early in the journey. We know that customers spend an average of 24 hours on research before buying a car, including an average of seven hours online. We wanted to help our partners promote the availability of finance from the offset. We’ve also recently advanced our API (Application Programming Interface) offering, meaning we are able to work effectively with a wider range of partners. Dealer partners who have their own proposal platforms now have a direct route into our systems, enabling them to submit proposals and monitor the status of the agreements via the API service. We’re now starting to roll out finance calculators for our partners’ websites to help customers research the cost of finance at the beginning of their decision-making journey. The leads generated will allow dealers to start finance conversations with potential customers earlier in the buying process – contact free. The first finance calculators have been live since July and following a successful pilot, we’re starting a UK-wide roll out, offering this new functionality first to our funded partners, with more partners being set up in the months following.  Each of these digital improvements – while small wins in themselves – add up to something bigger. Our vision for the future is for an end-toend digital customer journey that improves the customer experience, provides sales leads to our partners and most importantly keeps everyone safe as we adapt to the “new normal”. 

DIGITAL OPPORTUNITIES Seán Kemple, managing director of Close Brothers Motor Finance, looks to an increasingly digitalised future THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE ECONOMY HAS taken a hit in 2020, and the waters will remain choppy through 2021. But the pandemic has also accelerated the pace of change, and there are opportunities for those dealers and their partners that can adapt to meet changing consumer demand. Dealers now have the benefit of having had to get on the front foot when it comes to their

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digital forecourt and there is growing appetite from consumers to research and pay for their bike digitally. And more than ever, people are making use of finance options to suit their individual needs throughout the pandemic. We know that we need to support dealers with customer facing tools that help a digital buying experience, and have introduced or rolled out digital support this year; from Remote Quote and Apply to new finance calculators for dealer websites. And there will be much more to come through 2021 and beyond. No matter what the next year or so brings,

we will continue, as we always have, to support motorcycle dealers in maintaining and growing their own businesses. Throughout this pandemic we have kept lending, and we haven’t changed our credit appetite. And that’s how we have always operated – we continued lending throughout the credit crunch and the recessions that preceded it, which means that dealers can trust our constant, and consistent, support. We have the capital, and the expertise, to sustain us through challenging economic periods which means that we, in turn, are in the best position to sustain and support bike dealers through the current challenges.

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

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Financing the deal

Our approach to the new rules


Financing the deal

Black Horse Motor Finance Tim Smith, head of motorcycle finance at Black Horse, explains what the Financial Conduct Authority’s imminent discretionary commission ban and revised commission disclosure rules will mean for dealers, and how Black Horse is educating its network As the UK’s financial services regulator, the FCA has been taking a close look at the motor finance sector in recent years. Its aim is simple: to ensure dealers use fair processes to sell finance to customers. The regulator’s growing interest is not surprising given the huge growth seen within the sector in recent years. It’s now worth over £75bn, with more than seven million individual contracts in place. Through its review, the FCA sought to answer three key questions: • Are firms taking the right steps to ensure they lend responsibly, in particular by appropriately assessing whether potential customers can afford the product in question? • Are there conflicts of interest arising from commission arrangements between lenders and dealers, and if so, are these appropriately managed to avoid harm to consumers? • Is the information provided to potential customers by firms sufficiently clear and transparent, so they can understand the risks involved and make informed decisions? They engaged with lenders, analysed customer credit reference agency files and looked at agreements between lenders and dealers – as well as the sales practices and processes of various firms. Their initial findings in March 2018 noted that, despite favourable economic conditions and finance arrears and default rates remaining quite low, these instances were rising among “high credit risk” consumers. This suggested that some lenders needed to consider how they assess affordability. The FCA also identified that some types of commission arrangements may be acting as an incentive for dealers to arrange finance at higher interest rates for their customers. It also conducted a series of mystery shopping exercises to review the typical customer journey and explore whether buyers are being given the information they need to make genuinely informed decisions. In the summer of 2020, the FCA announced new rules which ban discretionary commission models and strengthen commission disclosures. The changes come into effect from 28 January 2021.

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Dealers know that this level of transparency actually improves their image and supports customer retention At Black Horse, we have always fully supported the FCA’s aim of ensuring consumers receive the right outcome when taking out motorcycle finance. We believe the new rules will help to demonstrate the value of finance to customers and build on the great work that’s already been done in the industry to improve the transparency of this product. When the FCA took over the regulation of consumer credit in 2014, we embraced this regulatory shift with its focus on delivering good customer outcomes and placed it at the heart of everything we do, every day. We did this by implementing our “roadmap”, a strategy that continues to this day to encourage our dealers to treat their customers fairly. As you’d expect, we’ve been working closely with dealers over recent months to get ready for the changes. First and foremost, we’re taking them through any updates to their rates and terms that are required under the new FCA rules. It’s important to note, though, that at Black Horse we don’t offer finance schemes which allow dealers to adjust APRs to increase commission. This means any changes required will be straightforward for our dealers and their customers. We’re also further updating the wording in our documents to help customers understand even more clearly the nature of the commission dealers receive from us. These updates further clarify the commission arrangements in place, giving customers the new information required to inform their decisions. We understand the value of being proactive and investing in sales tools and training for our dealers. Our systems and processes are designed to guide dealers step by step through the regulated sales process to help them meet regulatory requirements and deliver fair outcomes for customers. And we remain committed to this focus, so our dealers can continue to offer their customers a seamless financial experience now and in the future. Some of the existing processes that we

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

already have in place to support dealers and customers include: • A credit indicator for our customers to check their credit status and identify if it is likely they will get the finance they need. This helps customers to shop around without leaving a mark on their credit file for other lenders to see. • A mobile finance calculator, so our dealers can create instant indicative PCP or HP quotes for customers. By showing the customer the full cost of finance, we can help them make informed funding decisions. • A customer contact programme, where we ask the customer about their experience at the dealership, usually within 48 hours of them signing their finance agreement.  • A personalised welcome video that is sent to the customer after they’ve purchased a vehicle using Black Horse finance, which provides important information about their finance contract. • Our bespoke Black Horse Dealer Dashboard, to give dealers enhanced management information to help them track measures around customer affordability, product suitability and finance pricing. • Offering modules on affordability and sustainability to our dealer staff through an online LetsULearn training programme The FCA has been clear that it will be monitoring how well firms comply with the new rules. They will be carrying out supervisory work across a sample of firms and also conducting point-of-sale mystery shop exercises to measure lenders’ control over dealer networks. Across the industry, our customers deserve to be treated fairly and to be given accessible, easyto-understand information. But we also know it makes good business sense. Dealers know that this level of transparency actually improves their image and supports customer retention. 

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Changes in FCA regulation don’t have to be scary, let’s go on the journey

together We’re your partner to support you through this new regulation. Together, we’ll make the complex simple, we’ll minimise disruption and we’ll enhance customer experience, allowing you to focus on what you do best.

Let’s do more together. closemotorfinance.co.uk/fca-changes

Finance Compliance Funding Insight


Financing the deal

iVendi

James Tew, chief executive of retail tech specialist iVendi, expresses his view that the pandemic and resultant restrictions have initiated a permanent move towards “connected retail” for motorcycle dealers — where the relationship between them, the lenders they use and consumers will depend to a much greater extent on purely digital connectivity. During last November’s lockdown, when motorcycle retailers in England continued to trade from behind closed showroom doors, we saw a very big increase in “digital deals” proposed to customers online via our TRANSACT product. Dealers have clearly reacted to the coronavirus crisis by using online tools available to them in a much more proactive manner. Since we began providing this product to our dealer customers at no additional charge in April, as a goodwill gesture during the pandemic, they’ve become adept at changing the emphasis between showroom and digital activity. Growth in digital deals shows how quickly they are now capable of moving from one to the other. The digital deal communications tool within TRANSACT allows propositions to be created by sales staff, including finance, value-added products, part-exchange valuations and even arranged access for test rides. Once sent to potential buyers, they act as a basis for online negotiations, designed to replicate the subtleties of in-person dialogue. The digital deal route is providing a valuable

new sales channel during difficult trading conditions. We know that motorcycles, cars and vans totalling more than £65m on finance have been sold using digital deals during the past six months.

The digital deal route is providing a valuable new sales channel during difficult trading conditions We now have dealers who send them to every potential customer with whom they have contact because of the success they are seeing. The value of this strategy cannot be understated. It makes absolute sense alongside the adoption of home delivery or click-andcollect models. And as online automotive retail in general develops, we are now seeing it divide into a

market of simple and complex transactions in an emerging, pandemic-heightened trend. Increased utilisation of digital sales models throughout the coronavirus crisis has prompted retailers to gravitate towards one or another of these extremes. Paring back the act of purchasing to what you might call the Amazon model is typically the realm of large-scale portals selling cars. The customer chooses a vehicle, clicks ‘buy’ and the only other choice will generally be whether to opt for some form of motor finance or not. The other model, far more relevant to motorcycle dealers, attempts to replicate some or all of the complexities of a traditional, showroom-based purchase in a digital form. It majors on expertise and propositions that are very much tailored to buyers’ particular needs. None of this signals an end to the conventional showroom experience for motorcycle buyers. But as the majority have become steadily more familar with the digital world through recent necessity, dealerships must be capable of delivering a positive experience across both channels. 

IVENDI ADVISORY ON THE NEW FCA RULES FOUR RISK AREAS NEED TO BE RESOLVED within any digital motor retail environment, before the regulations come into effect. • Dealers need to ensure that the entire customer journey is recorded in detail by the platform, in a manner that is auditable in case of any future challenge. There is a danger under the new rules where the first-choice lender has declined an application, as it could be easy for customers to claim they have been mis-sold, because the actual rate paid was higher than the initial advertised rate. • A greater requirement to inform the consumer about commission on every transaction and

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how it is earned, is problematic. This is not just a matter of altered wording. Dealers must ensure information is easily accessible to the user, as commission models can vary even within a single lender, and it’s imperative that this information is disclosed at multiple points for each specific product. • Greater use of fixed APR products to circumvent the commission question can create problems across a dealer’s panel. Dealer technology has to show the APR for each individual lender on offer, so that if the primary lender declines, the customer can move onto a second choice. In relation to

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this, dealerships must also be able to control the representative example within digital finance promotions, and include an audit trail to see who makes changes and when. • New risk-based motor finance products coming to market in increasing numbers, which are expected to see wider adoption, are also an area of concern. These are designed to help the most creditworthy consumers get the best rate. But not all online and showroom solutions can yet handle their complexities when it comes to quoting, and dealers will need to resolve this issue where it arises.

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Beyond finance “I’m more like a consultant, taking time to understand the dealership so that we can add real value to their business.” Watch Aimee's video to see how: blackhorse.co.uk/beyondfinance

Aimee Winder Account Manager North East Region

A better way of doing business


Focal Point

LS2 HELMETS

Always Ahead

Thunder Carbon

LS2 helmets have been available in the UK since 2008 but the parent manufacturing company, MHR, celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2020

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ike many other Chinese companies, MHR, started by Arthur Liao, began by producing helmets for other companies. Unlike many other Chinese manufacturers, MHR developed and launched its own brand, LS2, in 2007, thanks to Arthur’s brother Paul who had moved to Spain. This now takes up to 90% of the production capacity, producing in excess of two million helmets per year, distributed to more than 100 countries globally. The European headquarters are located just outside Barcelona. Originally this was where UK stock came from but things changed a couple of years ago with the onset of Brexit preparations and the UK decided to go factorydirect from the company’s Northumberland facility. However, as UK sales director Paul Haskins explains: “If there’s a particular colour of a popular model that’s in short supply, Spain can usually fill in as a back-up. “Now, as you’ve probably heard elsewhere, the problem is shipping containers, or more precisely finding a shipping company to take your container. It’s increasing charges considerably, more like tripling them, and this will inevitably have a knock-on effect on retail prices or dealer margins.”

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2020 has been an unprecedented year from all sorts of perspectives. The motorcycle industry has survived better than some and when motorcycles are selling, helmets, clothing and accessories usually follow. Motorcycle sales fell off a cliff from March to April and LS2 saw

The motorcycle industry has survived better than some and when motorcycles are selling, helmets, clothing and accessories usually follow this reflected in helmet sales, but percentagewise Haskins is fairly pleased with the brand’s overall performance for the year. Third-quarter motorcycle sales were up on the previous year’s performance, which helped. Enough, in fact, for LS2 UK to increase its warehouse space and take on more staff.

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Most of the helmet design work is carried out in Barcelona, which gives the models a European flavour. LS2 prides itself on its wide range of models, with kids to GP racers all being catered for. In total there are 26 different models of helmet on offer in the UK. The Mini off-road range starts from as young as three-year-olds upwards and at the top end there’s the FIM Racing, homologated, Carbon Thunder. The runaway success for the last couple of years, according to Haskins, has been the Valiant with its 180-degree flip front. Surprisingly LS2 has sold over 500 kids’ full-face road helmets – look out for pint-sized pillions. New for 2021 is the Explorer Adventure helmet. This employs both a carbon and HPFC shells with a removeable peak making it a dual purpose helmet with a drop-down sun visor and is available in a choice of modern graphics and colourways. The Explorer is an illustration of what Haskins has tried to achieve since taking over as UK sales director. “I’ve tried to increase what we do in the mid to higher end market. We were known, and still are to a degree, for entry-level budget helmets. This stigma is a UK thing, it doesn’t exist in Europe where the prices are higher.

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“WE SELL CLOTHING, HELMETS, ACCESSORIES AND parts. We gave up doing motorcycle recovery and repairs a few years ago as there was really no money in it. I took on LS2 helmets about two and a half years ago and it’s probably the best thing I’ve done for the business. I didn’t think the product was that good previously, but I love it now and the range is fantastic, which means I don’t have to stock any other brand. I have ARMR clothing from Oxford, so I have access to their helmets, but I stick with LS2 because the range is so large. I stock four or five of the glove ranges and they do really well. “During the main lockdown we operated click and collect, which got us through. We were back in business from the beginning of August, and then things were really busy, but now it’s slowed down again. Hopefully in the new season we’ll be fully up and running because the 2021 range looks really good.”

out now!

2021 catalogue

Paul Hamilton, Paul Hamilton Motorcycle Accessories, Kilmarnock

Explorer Carbon

LS2 apparel ranges include Urban, “We don’t want to lose the entry-level Touring, Racing, Vintage and Rain, market as that is part of the company ethos with gloves to match should the customer but we do want to step it up, hence the racing require them. Glove materials include cow involvement and the introduction of the and goat leather, textile and a mix of both FF805 Carbon Thunder for 2021.” depending on application. Sizes range LS2 will be a significant helmet sponsor from small to 5XL for men in BSB and will have two and women and there are offerings. As well as the This stigma is 11 styles to choose from. Thunder FIM there is an Production of the clothing upgraded FF323 Arrow C a UK thing, it range has been brought in(carbon) FIM, believed to be positioned at the keenest doesn’t exist in house, in a new facility within the LS2 factory. Managed price available for an FIM Europe where by Steven Liao (brother homologated helmet. of Arthur and Paul) and is Apparently, the new racing the prices are produced alongside many regulations which apply to higher other household motorcycle MotoGP and WSBK caught apparel brand names. some manufacturers on the Dealer support is available from five hop, but not so LS2. independent agents who look after the UK For the prospective dealer LS2 isn’t only and Ireland and, of course, from head office, about helmets. There’s a full range of men’s where the experienced team can offer expert and ladies’ clothing and gloves too. The

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product advice and deal with those sometimes-awkward warranty issues. The signing-up process is less prescriptive than for some other brands. There is no minimum stocking requirement; display units, branded floor mats and other POS material is also available. So, what’s not to like?  LS2 Helmets tel 01670 856342 www.ls2helmets.com

NATIONWIDE SUPPORT Paul Haskins: 07932 725119 LS2 UK Sales Director Dave Priddle: 07900 682775 South West & South Wales Jon Russell: 07582 512581 London & South East Lee Bell: 07582 178996 Midlands & North Wales Peter Campbell: 07966 431388 North East, North West & Scotland Steve Forster: +353 876 486863 Northern & Southern Ireland

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

39

Focal Point

PAUL HAMILTON MOTORCYCLES


Business Essentials

CATALYST

The Business

A Constellation Software Company

0116 230 1500 | sales@catalyst-uk.com | www.catalyst-uk.com

The latest news and views in the world of business

The ins and outs of redundancy No employer wants to make employees redundant. Unfortunately, though, Coronavirus means that some businesses may need to restructure

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s Mark Stevens, a senior associate at law firm VWV, highlights, for the process to work properly, it is important that redundancy dismissals are handled sensitively and in accordance with the law. He warns: “any employer that fails to comply with its legal obligations during a redundancy situation could face complaints from employees and claims for compensation for unfair dismissal as a result.”

WHAT IS A REDUNDANCY SITUATION? In an employment law context, redundancy has a very specific meaning. To summarise, the statutory definition of redundancy identifies three sets of circumstances that amount to redundancy situations – a business closure; workplace closure; or reduced requirements of the business for employees to do work of a particular kind. Stevens points out that “there is no mandatory procedure laid down by legislation in England and Wales for fairly dismissing an employee for redundancy reasons. Instead, employers must follow a fair procedure involving individual consultation.” He says that dismissal decisions must also be reasonable. Case law has determined various principles of fairness that an employer should follow in order to reduce the risk of employees pursuing claims for unfair dismissal. In outline, these principles require an

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employer to give employees early warning of the risk of dismissal; consult with employees (and the union if required); identify an appropriate “at risk” pool for redundancy; draw up and apply fair selection criteria; and give consideration to alternative employment.

CONSULTATIONS As to the first, Stevens says that an employer looking to make a number of employees redundant must check whether the obligation to engage in collective consultation exists: “Where there is a proposal to make 20 or more employees at one site redundant within a 90-day period, the employer must engage in collective consultation with a trade union. If no trade union is recognised for that particular employer, then an employee representative will need to be elected with whom the employer will need to consult.” On top of this, the employer will need to notify the secretary of state of the number of planned redundancies. Stevens adds that “employers should also seek specific advice in circumstances where multiple redundancies are planned as there are a number of obligations.” But even where a collective redundancy situation does not arise, consulting with the employee(s) at risk of redundancy is, in Stevens opinion, absolutely vital and will be central to the fairness of the decision to

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dismiss. He says that “consultation should be genuine and take place at a time when the employer can properly consider the employees views and suggestions – that is, before the final decision is made.”

THE “AT RISK” POOL Key to the process of selecting those for redundancy is the appropriate pool of employees for redundancy selection. This must be given proper consideration or, as Stevens cautions, “the dismissal is likely to be unfair.” He explains that there are no fixed rules about how the pool should be defined and, “unless there is a collectively agreed or customary selection pool, an employer has a wide measure of flexibility here. The question of how the pool should be defined is primarily a matter for the employer to determine and, provided an employer genuinely applies its mind to the choice of a pool, it will be difficult for an employee (or a tribunal) to challenge the choice.” Factors that are likely to be relevant to identifying a pool are the type of work is ceasing or diminishing; the extent to which employees are doing similar work (possibly even those at other locations); and the extent to which employees’ jobs are interchangeable within the workforce.

SELECTION CRITERIA AND SCORING Once an employer has identified the employees in the “at risk” pool, Stevens says the next step is to apply selection criteria to determine those at risk of redundancy. To

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do this, employers will need to develop appropriate selection criteria. He says that “the criteria, which of course must be objective and fair, might want to look at things like disciplinary record, length of service and performance. Criteria which relate to protected characteristics such as age, disability, religion or sex must be ignored.” Next, the employer will need to mark each of the potentially redundant employees according to the finalised selection criteria. As Stevens advises, “different weighting can be given to different criteria. It can also be useful to ask different managers to independently score employees in the “at risk” pool in order to ensure objectivity.”

LOOKING AT ALTERNATIVES TO REDUNDANCY In many cases, consultation between employer and an employee who is at risk of redundancy should be focused on finding an alternative to dismissal on redundancy grounds. Stevens considers it essential that employers “discuss the steps that it has taken, or has considered taking, to reduce the risk of (or number of) redundancies. This might include things like a recruitment freeze and terminating the engagements of agency workers before embarking on the redundancy process.” Equally, employers should provide details of any vacancies, if there are any, to employees who are at risk of redundancy in order to minimise the number

Job Scene

s Essentials Contact Alison on 01237 422660 or adsales@dealernews.co.uk

of dismissals that might need to be made.

STATUTORY REDUNDANCY PAY Lastly, when making redundancies, employers should bear in mind that employees are entitled to a statutory payment where they are dismissed through redundancy and have at least two years continuous employment when dismissed. The government has a calculator for this at www.gov.uk/calculateyour-redundancy-pay.

TO END Managing a redundancy process to ensure fairness and transparency can be difficult. It is important that an employer carefully plans the process at its beginning and critically, before consultation with employees begins. In Stevens’ experience, getting it wrong can have a significant impact. “In addition to potentially facing unfair dismissal claims, a poorly planned redundancy process may end up alienating the workforce at a time when the employer requires everyone to be particularly focussed on the job at hand and morale is low.” 

Are you tired of finishing second? Due to continuous growth we are seeking additional high calibre, field-based Area Sales Managers commercial members to become part of our team. Are you ready and able to join the UK’s #1 motorcycle lubricant company? Proudly made in the UK, SILKOLENE offer one of the world’s largest ranges of specialist motorcycle lubricants. We are searching for a successful, experienced sales professional with a proven track record of front-line sales and target achievement to develop both direct sales within the territory and indirect sales by forging strong relationships with our UK wide distributor network. You will have a knowledge and understanding of the motorcycle business in both the retail and trade sector and be a passionate self-starter who can initiate sales and work within a highly competitive sales market. You must have exceptional communication skills to be able to build strong relationships with our direct customers, distributor customers and internal staff. The position carries a range of benefits including a competitive salary package, incentive scheme, contributory pension scheme and company vehicle. Please forward career history and salary package details to: Susanne McClurg, - susanne.mcclurg@fuchs.com Successful candidates will be contacted by March 2021 silkolene.com

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FROM ONLY

with Adam Bernstein www.abfeatures.com

@fuchs_silkolene

@fuchs_silkolene

RETAIL DEALER OFFER

Contact Alison on 01237 422660 or adsales@dealernews.co.uk

In tune with the industry, leading All-in-one Business Management Soſtwareand expertise through innovation

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Complete Business Solution. Easy to Use 0116 230 1500 | sales@catalyst-uk.com | www.catalyst-uk.com

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CATALYST

A Constellation Software Company DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021 41


Marketing Matters

MARKETING

MATTERS

Expert adv ice to improve how you promote and sell you r products or services

DAN SAGER FOUNDED THE FAB-BIKER PR AGENCY IN 1996 AND HAS been advising businesses in the motorcycle industry on marketing matters ever since. Here he shares some of the most important lessons he’s learned during that time. fab-biker.co.uk

POUNDING THE SPONSORSHIP DEAL

There is a well-worn saying in the marketing world; for every pound you spend on sponsorship, you need to spend another pound telling people about it

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hoa there!” I hear you cry. “You mean that, having spent a pile of cash to raise awareness of my business, you expect me to spend the same amount again to make people aware that I’m doing something to raise awareness?” Crazy though it may sound, the answer is yes, because getting your logo featured on a racer’s clothing or bike is only half of the promotional campaign. The other half is explaining the connection to people.

THE FIRST HALF Take a fairly typical example. Let’s say you run a medium-size motorcycle dealership in a market town. You decide to sponsor a local lass who’s regularly climbing the podium in junior motocross at club level. In return, she puts your shop name on the team van, the bike and her jersey. How many people do you think will see your logo? More to the point, how many will notice it? Crucially, even if they spot your name, what will they think? Will they make a mental note to rush into your showroom first thing monday morning to put a deposit down on a new motorcycle? I’m an optimist by nature, but even I’d say that’s a long-shot. In short, it’s a start but you need to do more to really make that sponsorship work for you.

THE SECOND HALF Are all your customers aware that you’re sponsoring a successful young racer? And even if they are, would they know why? You could, quite reasonably, claim to be investing in the future of off-road sport and also supporting local talent, both very positive stories, which make people feel good about shopping with you. It’s important not only to tell people who you’re sponsoring, but why. Otherwise it can look like a vanity project. With product sponsorship it’s more straightforward. It’s pretty obvious why motorcycle helmet manufacturers pay top-

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flight racers to wear their headgear, but that doesn’t let them off the hook completely. Consumers are well-aware that sports stars are paid to wear equipment, although that doesn’t stop

Getting your logo featured on a racer’s clothing or bike is only half of the promotional campaign them wanting it for themselves. The key is to put a spin on it – this might be telling them your sponsored MotoGP rider wears your helmet to help with development of the new aerodynamic lightweight design or the closerfitting yet better-ventilated shell.

USE YOUR EXISTING BUDGET You might need to spend a pound on advertising for every pound on sponsorship, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be additional expenditure. Be sure to feature

DECEMBER 2020 / JANUARY 2021

your sponsored team or rider in your current advertising, remembering to explain the connection.

GET THE TEAM ON BOARD Don’t be shy; you’ve invested in sponsorship and you should look to maximise your return everywhere you can. Splash information and images of your riders everywhere – in your showroom, on your website and social media, talk about them in newsletters and blogs. If they are competing regularly then there will be a rich seam of hopefully interesting news most weeks during the season. Get the team/rider into your premises for a VIP meet and greet event or open day/evening. Maybe organise a ride-out for customers to watch your supported team racing. The aim is to reach the point where people have made the association between you and the rider/team, so when they see or hear news about them, they automatically think of you!

NEXT MONTH Caring for the community – why charity is good for the soul and the bottom line.

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


Business beat

Business beat with Adam Bernstein : www.abfeatures.com You can choose your friends but not your family. So what happens if you run a business with your family – is trouble guaranteed or will commercial harmony follow?

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avid Emanuel, chairman and a corporate law partner at VWV, thinks that every family business dispute is different, but there are common themes. The most frequent tend to involve a lack of succession planning which leaves the next generation feeling frustrated, or uncertain about what comes next; differences over strategic direction; and different attitudes among or across generations on ownership. But other issues can drive a wedge between family members, and some of them, reckons Philippa Dempster, managing partner of law firm Freeths, may be very trivial but can become significant. And money is often the root cause. She says “remuneration can often lead to a dispute if one family member feels that they are not being financially rewarded as well as another, or if they feel others are not pulling their weight in the business but are remunerated the same as those that are taking a key role in driving the business forward.” On top of this is what happens when one family member feels that they are not being included in decision making, however small that may be.

DEALING WITH THE ISSUES As any good lawyer knows, documentation is key. For Emanuel, this could include an obligation in a shareholder’s agreement with mediation as a mechanism for resolving disputes. And Dempster agrees, stating that alternative means of dispute resolution is always preferable “because litigation can be expensive and time consuming and is a distraction.” This point is taken up by Emanuel; he suggests that if the family doesn’t want to bear the cost of mediation that an alternative “is an independent, respected, family-related figure.” But as Emanuel explains, “the parties need to be in a frame of mind to mediate for this to have a chance of success.” But before embarking on mediation, Dempster emphasises that it’s important for the parties to know what their legal position is. She believes that by knowing, for example, “that a court may not agree with a party’s position from a legal perspective they will go to mediation with an open mind.”

RISK MANAGEMENT The fact that disputes happen is a given, but families can lower the risk of trouble through a charter which sets out the fundamental

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FAMILIES IN DISPUTE

principles on which members want to see their business run, and a shareholder’s agreement that offers detail on ownership and management rights and responsibilities. For Emanuel, these important governance documents can, he says, “help business and family relationships, and give confidence to face future challenges.” Dempster sees similar value here too. She thinks a formal business plan should be written “so that the parties have some structure and each party is aware of the direction that is proposed for the business. Meetings should always be minuted to avoid misunderstandings down the line, with minutes circulated and if possible, an independent third-party present.” Both Dempster and Emanuel think that regular communication is critical. Emanuel advocates a “forum for family members to meet, away from home, to discuss family business issues in the context of their respective roles, whether as family member, employee, or shareholder.” Dempster recommends openness where “parties can be open and transparent with one another by, for example, having regular meetings to discuss company finances, business initiatives, staff issues.”

IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE TOO But what if there’s an irreconcilable disagreement? The end game will vary from family to family and depends on the priorities of each family member. As Dempster has witnessed, for some “family will always come

DECEMBER 2020 / JANUARY 2021

first and for others money and success may be more important.” But if agreement on business decisions cannot be reached then it is inevitable that family members may have to exit the business, or the business wound up. Here, says Dempster, “the business will need to be valued so that the leaving party can either be bought out by the remaining parties or the company buys back the shares at value.” Of course, business isn’t necessarily about the current generation, it also concerns the future. Bringing in new family members at an early age can help them feel that the business is very much part of the family. However, as Emanuel notes, to work in a business long term they need the right skills for their roles. Dempster thinks the same; her advice is to get younger members of the family into the business to shadow older family members – she says that it’s “a great way for them to learn what is involved with, and what it takes, to successfully run the business.” But shadowing alone may not be appealing to the younger generation “so it might be useful to give them small tasks in the business, so they feel that they are contributing.”

TO CONCLUDE So, while blood may be the strongest bond, it doesn’t guarantee success. The reality is that without a firm basis for good communications, an understanding how businesses are run, and ideally, good documentation, the seeds of destruction will be sown. But each to their own. 

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


A FAMILY’S SUCCESS

It’s not easy for a youngster to come into an established family business and make significant differences for the better. But that’s what Ellie Brown did when dad, Bill Brown of Wulfsport International, signed her up to follow in his footsteps. She explains here how family businesses can be successful if the allround approach is correct

I’VE WORKED WITH MY DAD FOR TEN YEARS now, four of them as a partner, and I respect how fortunate I am to have this opportunity. It can be very difficult to adapt to somebody else’s methods and visions for a business, especially if you’re a naturally driven person yourself, but once I had decided to work my way up in the family business rather than start my own, I knew I had to commit 100% and respect how the business is operated. I won’t deny I had kickback moments in my earlier days and times of saying ‘life’s so unfair’ but my dad’s strength of character and stern attitude helped keep me on the right track and led me to develop myself an important part in his business. The Cologne INTERMOT show in 2012 was a memorable moment in being pivotal in my future plans, seeing the business on an international scale and having the buzz of sourcing my first

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Mud Stompers kid’s boots are the top-selling brainchild of Ellie Brown

Working on ideas from scribbles in a notebook to finished product is one of the most rewarding but challenging parts of business new product and suppliers. Working on ideas from scribbles in a notebook to finished product is one of the most rewarding but challenging parts of business. I started my idea for the Mud Stomper boot back in 2013 but it wasn’t until late 2014 that we had a product to show people. Perhaps if I worked alone in charge of my own business I would have lost patience, but having Bill there to support and

DECEMBER 2020 / JANUARY 2021 45

Guest Column

Marion, Bill and Ellie Brown

encourage and also to reassure me that ideas don’t just materialise overnight, gave me the enthusiasm to battle on. Since then I have worked on new helmet shells, motocross boots, clothing, alongside Bill’s input, so my lessons in patience never fail to pay off! Alongside Bill, I can’t not mention my mother Marion and her key role in our business. She has a huge input with designs, marketing and also heads administration. But for me her most important role is a mediator in family squabbles! I respect it must be difficult for somebody who has built a successful business from nothing to introduce a family member and trust them with the responsibility of helping lead their business, but I feel my dad always had a winning combination of allowing me enough rope to have the freedom to make decisions on my own and implement my own ideas, but not enough to totally hang myself (or worse both of us!), and the more time has gone on the more the rope has been freed. A lot of the decisions and ideas remain true to the way they always have been, such as keeping our team streamlined and efficient, keeping an incredibly close watch over customer/ supplier payments, keeping job roles inhouse, keeping purchasing power strong by buying in huge amounts and not overcomplicating any systems. I am a great believer of not fixing things that aren’t broken and I think sometimes it can be tempting to change something for the selfish reason of wanting to do it your own way even if it’s not better than what’s already there. The business continues to grow so I don’t see any need for big changes yet.  Now my dad has a laidback approach to the business whereas I am working full time to deal with the day to day running of the operation. Bill enjoys catching up with customers and suppliers and many have become good friends. He also enjoys watching the comings and goings of the business and having an input with plans. Ideas and quality standards are very much decided by customer feedback and needs although Bill does still ride himself – there is no better tester than inhouse! Something my dad has always instilled in me is that because we live in ‘the middle of nowhere’ it is imperative we keep very high stocks and always give excellent customer service. This has become increasingly apparent to me with the current Covid situation and good stocks help if supply becomes slow.   It’s not been an easy journey so far, but the lessons and experience I have learnt and developed are things I could never have learned in a classroom. The time that my dad has spent with me, talking to me, advising me, are priceless and I know this is an opportunity not everyone is given. But that’s part of what drives me to succeed and take the business further. 


Product news

Can you you spot spot the the Can communications unit? communications unit?

Products

Fully integrated S.R.L system for Shoei Fully integrated S.R.L system for Shoei models, available only from Feridax. models, available only from Feridax.

The latest products for your showroom

Forged carbon bodywork

Biketek mats 5 Leatt helmets South African off-road attire brand Leatt has launched its 2021 range. There are two new helmets – the 9.5 Carbon and 8.5 Composite – both featuring four densities of impact foam and Leatt’s 360 Turbine Technology which reduces concussional forces and rotational acceleration of the brain in the event of an impact. Both lids also claim to be light weight and provide exceptional airflow, comfort and are equipped with an anti-odour washable liner and a hydration port. The 9.5 has a carbon shell in three sizes and weighs in at 1195g. It comes in black weave with bronze graphics in sizes XSXXL and includes goggles for its SRP of £389. The 8.5 has a composite shell in three sizes and weighs in at 1250g and also comes in sizes XS-XXL. It comes in a choice of black/ white, black/red, white/jade or white/blue/red for an SRP of £319 including goggles. Apico Factory Racing; 01282 473 198 sales@apico.co.uk

Bike It International has updated its range of bike mats for keeping clean and comfortable while spannering in the workshop, garage or out at the track. There are 27 new designs covering makes from Aprilia to Triumph, BMW to Lambretta as well as MotoGP, Race Ready and Bike It designs. All the mats are FIM compliant and are made from heavy duty nylon with an oil and water resistant backing. Measuring 190cm x 80cm they have an SRP of £39.99 except for the MotoGP version which is £44.99. Bike It 02380 658700 tradesales@bikeit.co.uk

Skidmarx has launched a range of products made from what it claims is “pioneering” forged carbon composite material. Forged carbon uses a paste of chopped carbon fibres mixed with resin that can be pressed into moulds to produce a component with the same weight as traditional laminated carbon but with up to five times the strength and greater impact resistance. A wide range of bike-specific accessories are being produced using the new method including huggers (from £194.95 SRP) and front mudguards (from £149.95 SRP). Future developments will add fairings, seat units and tank covers for track use. Skidmarx 01305 780808 sales@skidmarx.co.uk

Sur-Ron tail tidy A NEW ADDITION TO THE LIST OF ACCESSORIES available for both the Sur-Ron LBX and L1E road legal electric motorbikes is a tail tidy. It fits using the existing rear light and indicators to create a new look for the LBX and, when used with an enduro style number plate, is said to make the L1E better suited to off-road riding. Available in a black finish, the tail tidy has an SRP of £74.95. Sur-Ron; 01522 589461; info@sur-ronbikes.com

LS2 Bob 4 Actif scooter screens 5 Another new fitment joins VE’s own-brand Actif screen range. The new model suits the highlycollectable Vespa 50SS and 90SS scooters and comes in a choice of red or blue to match original colour schemes. Made in the UK, the screens come with all fittings. VE (UK); 01159 462991; sales@ve-uk.com

Correction

In the November issue of BDN, the price of Evotech’s frame protection bobbins for the Ducati Hypermotard was incorrectly stated on page 59 as £225, when it should be £79.99. Apologies for the error.

The new Bob is a classic-style open-face helmet that replaces the Bobber in LS2’s range. The Bob Carbon is, as the name suggests, made with a full-carbon shell which comes in three sizes for a low-profile fit. There is a pop-off motocross-style peak, and the opening has been shaped to fit most styles of goggles, plus there is a strap retainer at the rear. The drop-down sun visor has two positions to choose from and it can be replaced with an optional clear version. Inside is a breathable, hypoallergenic liner combined with laser-cut foam inserts for a snug fit and feel. The LS2 Bob Carbon is available in sizes XS-XXL (53-64 cm) and has an SRP of £199.99. LS2 Helmets UK; 01670 856342; ukservice@ls2helmets.com

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Product news

Bridgestone Battlax After what has been a relatively quiet time in terms of tyre development its exciting to see some new rubber launched. Bridgestone’s new T32 and T32GT are classed as sport touring tyres, and are designed to provide all-weather performance for the long-distance rider. The T32 features Bridgestone’s Pulse Groove tread pattern which is said to help improve grip and reduce braking distances in the wet compared to the tyre’s predecessor. The T32GT – designed to suit middleweight and heavy touring machinery – also uses the Pulse Groove tread pattern and has had changes to the construction which help to improve longevity by up to 10%. The new tyres will be available in a wide range of sizes early in the New Year. Bridgestone; 01926 488500; sales@bridgestone.eu

ABUS SECURITY

THE DIFFERENCE Whatever you ride, ABUS has the products you need to stay secure. From disc locks to chains, U-Shackles and anchors - ABUS locks make the difference between safe and secure.

100% goggles 5 San Diego-based sports company 100% has updated its motorcycle goggle range with Generation 2 versions of its Racecraft, Accuri and Strata models. All three new designs have an improved vertical field of view (up by 17.5%) as well as a redesigned nose fitment. They also feature support for triple-post tear-offs, an extra-wide silicon coated strap, a nine-point lens retention system and an anti-fog coating on the lens. Silverfish UK; 01752 843882; pete@silverfish-uk.com

DISC LOCKS Impressive racks WMD has added a brace of new compact luggage racks to its already extensive range. Finished in satin black, the racks fit Kawasaki’s ER-6F and ER-6N and the KTM Duke in 125, 200 and 390cc guises. The former retails for £85 and the latter for £62.40. WMD; 01273 595746; info@wmd-online.com

ANCHORS

Spada Vermont 3 NEW FOR THE 2021 SEASON IS THE Spada Vermont. Is it a shirt? Is it a jacket? Well, the makers say its’s a shacket! As well as being a portmanteau to make linguaphiles come out in a cold sweat, the Vermont is a three-season riding top ideal for the urban cruiser who wants to look casual but with the benefit of level 2 armour at shoulder and elbow, and a level 1 back protector. Made from stretch fit denim with a Kevlar mesh liner, the shacket is doublestitched throughout for extra strength and has adjustable cuffs. It comes in a choice of charcoal or traditional denim blue in sizes from S to a capacious 4XL for £139.99 SRP. Feridax; 01384 413841; info@feridax.com

Renntec for Enfield UK accessories maker Renntec has launched some new parts for Royal Enfield’s best-selling Interceptor 650. A new luggage carrier is made of powder-coated steel and includes a pillion grab rail in its design. SRP is £99.99. New engine protection bars are also MIG-welded, powder coated steel, and use a three-point mounting system for rigidity, and do not require any modifications to the bike for fitting. They come with all fixings required for an SRP of £119.99. Mike Stevens; 01202 86722; info@renntec.co.uk

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U-SHACKLES

CHAINS

AVAILABLE FROM


Product news

Stylmartin Jack biker boots 3 Stylmartin’s new Jack boot will be marching into dealerships ready for the 2021 season. Said to suit the cafe racer and touring rider, the Jack boot is made from soft, waterrepellent full grain leather with a waterproof membrane and hidden PU internal malleolus protection and an antibacterial removable insole, plus an anti-slip and oil resistant rubber sole. It comes in black, in sizes 39-47, for an SRP of £199. Dot4Distribution; 0203 514 2413 info@dot4distribution.com

Mammoth Rogue locks SOME NEW BUDGET DISC LOCKS FROM MAMMOTH have arrived in stock at Bike It International. The locks come in 6mm and 10mm versions with a hardened steel pin and an encased and hardened body. Supplied with a storage pouch and a spare key, they come in a choice of yellow or black at £19.99 SRP for both models. Bike It International 02380 658700 tradesales@bikeit.co.uk

Furygan Apalaches 5

Muc-Off filter cleaner 5 Muc-Off’s first foray into the world of filter cleaning has resulted in a pair of products aimed at the off-road motorcyclist. The biodegradable foam filter cleaner can rapidly break down oil, grease and grime on all types of foam air filter in a short space of time. Once the filter is spic and span, Muc-Off’s Air Filter Oil can be applied, giving a super-tacky surface to catch airborne sand, dust, water and mud to protect the engine. The oil comes in a 1-litre can for £17.99 SRP, while the cleaner comes in 1-litre or 5-litre bottles for £9.99 or £34.99 SRP respectively. Muc-Off; 01202 307799; sales@muc-off.com

Caberg Avalon THE AVALON IS A NEW FULL FACE addition to Caberg’s 2021 range. The Italian brand’s latest lid is a sports-inspired design with a polycarbonate shell that comes in two sizes. Features include a drop-down sun visor, removable washable liner and a Micrometric buckle system, plus it is ready to be fitted with a Just Speak Evo Bluetooth comms system. It comes in sizes XS-XL in solid white or matt black for £139.99 SRP, or in a choice of graphics for £159.99 SRP. Feridax; 01384 413841; info@feridax.com

Kappa K’Vector A RIGID CASE THAT CAN BE fitted as a top-box or a side case, the K’Vector is made from fibreglass-reinforced polymer with a cover trim in aluminium-effect or black powder coat finishes. The case has a 35-litre capacity and a weight limit of up to 10kg, and there is an optional soft inner bag to protect any contents. SRP is £167.95. Neo Distribution; 01778 349333 sales@putoline.co.uk

Malossi kit VE(UK) HAS A NEW CYLINDER KIT for Vespa T5 models from 1986-2000. The kit comprises a 65mm bore aluminium cylinder with Nicasil plated lining, an Asso piston kit, a pair of exhaust studs, a main jet suitable for the standard carb and standard exhaust, and a cylinder gasket set. The kit can be used with standard or bigger aftermarket carbs and a wide range of exhausts. VE (UK); 0115 946 2991 sales@ve-trade.com

Furygan’s adventure-style Apalaches jacket and pants has been updated with a new colour option of blue/pearl/red to add to the existing options. The outfit features a waterproof membrane and removable thermal layers, along with D3O armour at elbows, shoulder, knees and hips (and the jacket is Airbag Connect ready). The jacket and pants both come in sizes S-4XL at SRPs of £199.99 and £179.99 respectively. Nevis Marketing; 01425 478936 info@nevis.uk.com

Suspension machine 4 If you regularly work on suspension, then K-Tech’s suspension filling machine will come in handy. It’s a heavy duty versatile machine fitted with mechanical valves for reliability which can be used for filling any damping system. Available in both 240V and 110V versions, both use a 9m3/hr vacuum pump which delivers shorter filling times. Two integrated 5-litre oil tanks to store different types and viscosities of oil helps to save time when working on different damping systems. Price is £2394. K-Tech Suspension; 01283 559000; enquiries@ktechsuspension.com

Pre-preg Pyramid PYRAMID PLASTICS HAS LAUNCHED A RANGE of carbon accessories made from pre-preg carbon. Their new Pre Preg Carbon range is said to be lightweight and stiff, with a high-gloss finish. The new material is initially available in the form of a hugger for the Suzuki GSXR1000 and hugger, handguard extensions and mudguard extension for the Yamaha Tracer 900. Pyramid Plastics; 01427 677990; sales@pyramid-plastics.co.uk

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Product news

Wolf clothing 6 The Wolf Titanium outfit has been updated for the 2021 season. The mid-length jacket is made from abrasion resistant 750D brushed nylon with a water repellent coating. Outlast thermal and waterproof drop liners are fitted inside to keep riders warm and dry, and two front zipped vents and a rear exhaust vent keep them cool when the weather improves. Protection comes in the form of D3O armour fitted at shoulders and elbows, and there’s a pocket for an optional back protector. Other features include stretch panels, Amara shoulder panels, a corduroy-lined collar and a full zip for joining to the matching pants, which are made to a similar specification. Finally, the long-cuff Titanium gloves are made from full leather with a water repellent coating. The palms are double-layer with stitched detailing for added grip and there’s a carbon-fibre knuckle guard. The jacket comes in sizes 40-50 at an SRP of £299.99, the pants come in sizes 30-40 in regular or short leg lengths for £199.99 SRP and the gloves come in sizes 8-12 for £99.99 SRP. THE FORTITUDE OUTFIT IS MADE from a W2 laminated 750D brushed nylon with a water repellent coating – together these provide a 10,000mm waterproofing rating. Inside the HDWool thermal liner is made from an Evertex jersey knit filled with Yorkshiresourced wool for lightweight thermal retention, and D3O armour is fitted throughout. The jacket comes in sizes 40-52 for an SRP of £349.99. The matching pants are a salopette design with crossover braces and come in sizes 30-42 in regular or short leg lengths for an SRP of £249.99. The long-cuff, waterproof Fortitude glove is a mix of laminated fabric with a double layer leather palm. The knuckle protector is made of semi-floating carbon fibre with an integrated motion panel across the back of the hand. It comes in sizes 8-12 for an SRP of £79.99. MotoDirect; tel 01773 864420; sales@moto-direct.com

Hevik Mustang A vintage style leather jacket, the Mustang ticks all the boxes when it comes to retro touches. Made from buffalo leather with a “vintage” finish, the Mustang has practicality laced through it thanks to elasticated material on chest and shoulders, CE-approved protectors at shoulder and elbows, a back protector and a removable thermal liner. There are also seven pockets inside and out. The Mustang comes in sizes S to 4XL and is only available in black. Givi UK; 01327 706220 info@givi.co.uk

Keis heated gloves Claimed to be “the most advanced heated motorcycle gloves Keis has ever made”, the new G701 are made from hydrophobic Spandex fabric, which stops them from getting waterlogged on rainy days. There’s also a semibonded Hipora waterproof and breathable membrane to keep digits dry and Thinsulate insulation to keep them warm. Heating is provided by micro carbon fibre heating panels focused on the top of the hands and around the fingers. An integral controller is positioned on the back of the wrist and, as well as adjusting the temperature, it also features an inbuilt voltage regulator to prevent overheating. There is a cuff pocket to hold an optional 2600mAh battery to power the gloves, or they can be connected to the bike’s battery using the supplied leads. The Keis G701 gloves come in nine sizes, from XXXS-XXXL, and have an SRP of £199.99.  Motohaus Powersports; 01256 704909; info@motohaus.com

Gear Gremlin charger 6 NEW FROM GEAR GREMLIN IS A MICROPROCESSOR-BASED intelligent battery charger and maintainer suitable for all gel and lead acid 12V battery types up to 120Ah capacity. The charger will automatically adjust the charging current according to the battery’s capacity rating and diagnose and attempt recovery of a sulphated battery. It can also check and indicate a weak or damaged battery. The charger can be left in use long term without damage to the battery, while polarity reverse protection, short circuit protection, over temperature protection, over current protection and over voltage protection all combine to keep inept amateur mechanics from causing an accident. SRP is £65.99. The Key Collection 01179 719200 sales@thekeycollection.co.uk

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Product news

Viper RSV06 Some new colours have been released for the Viper RSV06. Skull combines the rebel tropes of skull, wings and distressed graphics in monochrome; Urban Orange ploughs a retro furrow with a simple graphic and trendy matt finish; while Burgundy is as metallic and shiny as a Christmas bauble. All three have an SRP of £54.99. Also, the open-face lid comes with a drop-down smoke-coloured visor which can now be supplemented with a clear version for £14.99 SRP. Motohart; 01916 030020; info@motohart.com

Sherco enduro 5 New Factory versions of the Sherco enduro bike range have been unveiled. The 2021 bikes are an update of this year’s models and will feature new graphics, a blue-coloured frame protector and a new Akrapovic titanium exhaust system. Other stand-out component upgrades include KYB suspension front and rear, Galfer wavy brake discs, Excel black wheel rims and colour-coded grips, fan and expansion tank. Malcolm Rathmell Sport; 01423 772885; info@mrsltd.co.uk

Givi Seatlock Givi’s latest method of transporting stuff on a motorcycle is a universal base that can hold a tank bag on the rear of the seat. The new base will only accept bags that use the Tanklock or TanklockED flange systems, but it can be fitted to almost any motorcycle. It has a rubber bottom to prevent slippage and reduce the risk of scratching the seat, and it comes with adjustable straps for fitting to the seat or a rear rack.  Givi UK; 01327 706220; info@givi.co.uk

Diamondbrite Tar Away Diamondbrite Tar Away is a professional strength spray-on reformulation of Diamondbrite’s Tar & Glue Remover which, as the name suggests, was designed to remove glue, adhesive residue, sealants and tar spots. Tar Away is said to be fast acting and low odour – rehydrating, loosening and softening tar and glue so that it can be wiped off without scrubbing within a couple of minutes. It can safely be used on paintwork or other exterior surfaces including chrome trim, rubber seals and plastics with every wash. A 500ml spray bottle has an SRP of £6.25. Jewelultra; 01622 815679; sales@jewelultra.com

Swift gloves 46 A trio of new gloves from budget brand Swift. The S4 is a leather glove with twinstitched reinforced panels on the palm and fingers alongside a silicon print for added grip. Inside is a comfort lining and there is hard knuckles and a cushioned area on the scaphoid to provide protection. The S4 comes in sizes XS-4XL for an SRP of £49.99. The S2 is a waterproof road glove with a carbonfibre knuckle protector, reinforced palms, twin wrist straps and twin-stitched panels. It comes in sizes XS-4XL for an SRP of £35.99. Last and least (in terms of pricing) is the S1. Another waterproof glove, the S1 is made from a combination of leather and nylon with a waterproof lining and hard knuckle protection and a cushioned scaphoid. It comes in sizes XS-4XL for an SRP of £24.99. Bike It; 02380 658700 Swift S1 tradesales@bikeit.co.uk

RaceLite sprockets 4 Swift S4

Swift S2

JT Sprockets has just introduced a new range of RaceLite hard anodised aluminium competition sprockets. These new sprockets, for MX and road race use, are designed to withstand extreme pro-race conditions, providing maximum strength and durability at minimum weight. JT RaceLite sprockets are CNC machined from 7075 T6 Ergal aviation aluminium alloy before being anodised to a black, orange, red or blue finish to compliment major manufacturers’ motocross and enduro bikes, or a rich black or gold hard anodised finish to suit popular Supersport and Superbike road race machines with a full selection of gearing options in 520 chain size conversion. Bike Alert; 01322 526236; www.jtsprockets.com

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DfT Statistics

Quarterly stats Jan-Sep 2020 new registration figures* Best selling Models 1. Honda PCX125 .............................................2118 2. Yamaha NMAX 125 ABS ................................1519 3. BMW R 1250 GS ADVENTURE ...................... 1116 4. Honda NSC 110 Vision .................................. 1113 5. BMW R 1250 GS..........................................1086 6. Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650................. 1019 7. Honda CB125F ............................................. 965 8. Lexmoto LXR 125 ......................................... 885 9. Triumph Tiger 900 ....................................... 878 10. Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX ................................ 852 11. Honda CBF 125 ............................................ 726 12. Triumph Rocket 3 ......................................... 667 13. Triumph Street Triple.................................... 666 14. BMW S 1000 RR........................................... 652 15. Yamaha Tracer 900 ...................................... 636 16. Yamaha Tenere 700 ...................................... 636 17. Honda SH 125 .............................................. 635 18. Suzuki Address ............................................. 611 19. KTM 125 Duke ............................................. 598 20. Honda NSS 125 Forza ................................... 594

from the DfT

C

overing the nine month January to September 2020 period, the latest registrations statistics from the DfT take in the Covid lockdown-induced slump and the subsequent burst of retail activity as pent up demand from bored bikers and new Covid commuters was sated with new metal through the summer. The UK’s biggest brand was also its biggest loser of market share compared with 2019, as top of the table Honda saw sales plummet by over 3000 units (-18%). Harley-Davidson suffered even more humiliatingly in terms of sales loss (-33%), which will have new boss Jochen Zeitz praying for a turnaround and beleaguered Harley dealers praying that all the recent new converts to the joys of two wheeler isolation and freedom rapidly upgrade to Milwaukee iron. In fact, all the major brands suffered losses in terms of sales to some extent, except Lexmoto which saw its range of commuter-friendly 125s and scooters

find favour and, critically, also being available to buy. With many brands unable to replenish stock due to a combination of manufacturing and shipping issues Lexmoto’s stock holding meant an extra 1556 units departed the Exeter-based brand’s warehouse compared with the same period in 2019, boosting it to become the third best-selling marque in the country. Many smaller brands had a very good summer, with Brixton and Bullit’s retrostyled street machines enjoying triple-digit percentage increases in sales, and WK Bikes, Motorini, Keeway and Royal Alloy also enjoying a burgeoning market eager for their small-capacity wares. With the next set of end-of-year figures covering the second November lockdown period as well as the end of Euro 4 machinery and the associated preregistration of non-compliant machinery, there could be some more significant shifts in fortune to come. ■

Top 10 brands by capacity Electric

0-49cc

Total: 1554

Total: 3752

50-125cc

Total: 28446

126-650cc Total: 14434

1. NIU ................................. 395 2. Vmoto .............................. 259 3. Surron...............................154 4. Zero ...................................111 5. Artisan ...............................65 6. Piaggio ...............................43 7. Harley-Davidson .................28 8. Ecooter ..............................26 9. Horwin .............................. 21 10. Lifan .................................. 15

1. Lexmoto ..........................1588 2. Peugeot ........................... 282 3. SYM ................................. 250 4. Piaggio ..............................197 5. AJS................................... 164 6. Sinnis ................................133 7. Neco .................................124 8. Yamaha .............................122 9. Longjia ...............................96 10. Aprilia ................................92

1. Honda............................ 7907 2. Lexmoto ......................... 4739 3. Yamaha ...........................3319 4. Keeway .......................... 1486 5. Suzuki .............................1236 6. Piaggio ............................. 1119 7. Sinnis .............................. 1108 8. SYM ................................1003 9. KTM ................................ 779 10. Benelli.............................. 691

1. Honda.............................3601 2. Royal Enfield ................... 1973 3. Kawasaki ..........................1731 4. KTM ...............................1695 5. Suzuki ..............................790 6. Yamaha ............................ 780 7. Husqvarna.........................721 8. Piaggio ..............................591 9. Beta .................................400 10. BMW ............................... 382

Highest registering models

Highest registering models

Highest registering models

Highest registering models

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Surron Light Bee ................154 NIU NQi GTS Pro ................93 Vmoto TCM ........................82 NIU MQi + Sport ................ 74 Vmoto TC1 ..........................66

Lexmoto Echo 50 ..............486 Lexmoto Echo Plus 50........ 378 Lexmoto Aspire 50............266 Peugeot Kisbee 50 ..............197 Lexmoto Diablo 50 .............187

Honda PCX125 ................. 2118 Yamaha NMAX 125........... 1519 Honda NSC 110 Vision........ 1113 Honda CB125F ..................965 Lexmoto LXR 125 ...............885

Royal Enfield Interceptor .. 1019 Honda CB500X .................486 Royal Enfield Himalayan .....471 Honda CMX 500 Rebel .......471 Honda CB650R ................. 470

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DfT Statistics

Registrations by Month REGISTRATIONS BY CAPACITY

Top manufacturers 2020 vs 2019

16000

14000

12000

10000 >1000 651-1000

8000

126-650 51-125 <50

6000

Electric

4000

2000

0 Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

650-1000cc Total: 15369

1. Yamaha .......................... 3633 2. Triumph ......................... 2524 3. BMW ............................. 2224 4. KTM ...............................1482 5. Honda............................ 1480 6. Kawasaki ......................... 1372 7. Suzuki .............................. 861 8. Ducati ..............................845 9. Moto Guzzi ...................... 282 10. Harley-Davidson ................231

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Over 1000cc Total: 14012

1. BMW ............................. 3589 2. Triumph ...........................3131 3. Harley-Davidson .............2096 4. Kawasaki .........................1256 5. Ducati ..............................982 6. Honda.............................. 837 7. KTM ................................824 8. Indian .............................. 422 9. Suzuki .............................. 367 10. Aprilia .............................. 325

Highest registering models

Highest registering models

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Triumph Tiger 900 ............ 878 Triumph Street Triple .........666 BMW S 1000 RR ................ 652 Yamaha Tracer 900............636 Yamaha Tenere 700 ...........636

BMW R 1250 GS Adventure. 1116 BMW R 1250 GS .............. 1086 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX ..... 852 Triumph Rocket 3 ............. 667 Honda CRF1100 Africa Twin 504

Brand

2020 Regs

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

13825 8024 6413 6207 5657 5008 4792 3254 2355 1973 1950 1830 1486 1262 1242 953 913 892 645 599 556 519 453 410 395 361 322 296 285 283 259 259 211 181 154 150 142 139 133 132 129 117 111 111 110 106 96 85 84 75

Honda Yamaha Lexmoto BMW Triumph Kawasaki KTM Suzuki Harley-Davidson Royal Enfield Piaggio Ducati Keeway SYM Sinnis Benelli Husqvarna Royal Alloy Aprilia AJS Peugeot Mutt Indian Beta NIU Bullit CCM Motorini Neco Moto Guzzi Vmoto WK Bikes Kymco Zontes Surron Sherco Fantic Motor Brixton Wangye Herald MV Agusta Hanway Lambretta Zero Mondial Mash Longjia ZNEN UM Rieju

2020 Market Share

17.82% 10.34% 8.27% 8.00% 7.29% 6.46% 6.18% 4.20% 3.04% 2.54% 2.51% 2.36% 1.92% 1.63% 1.60% 1.23% 1.18% 1.15% 0.83% 0.77% 0.72% 0.67% 0.58% 0.53% 0.51% 0.47% 0.42% 0.38% 0.37% 0.36% 0.33% 0.33% 0.27% 0.23% 0.20% 0.19% 0.18% 0.18% 0.17% 0.17% 0.17% 0.15% 0.14% 0.14% 0.14% 0.14% 0.12% 0.11% 0.11% 0.10%

2019 Regs

16906 8733 4857 7589 6886 5544 4814 3522 3539 2397 1745 2480 911 1031 1062 654 1159 555 758 593 854 438 510 366 272 169 425 180 260 316 276 87 245 160 45 146 123 50 77 106 117 130 118 98 153 151 3 78 228 79

2019 Market Share Market Share Change

20.09% 10.38% 5.77% 9.02% 8.18% 6.59% 5.72% 4.18% 4.20% 2.85% 2.07% 2.95% 1.08% 1.22% 1.26% 0.78% 1.38% 0.66% 0.90% 0.70% 1.01% 0.52% 0.61% 0.43% 0.32% 0.20% 0.50% 0.21% 0.31% 0.38% 0.33% 0.10% 0.29% 0.19% 0.05% 0.17% 0.15% 0.06% 0.09% 0.13% 0.14% 0.15% 0.14% 0.12% 0.27% 0.18% 0.01% 0.09% 0.40% 0.09%

-2.26% -0.03% 2.50% -1.01% -0.89% -0.13% 0.46% 0.01% -1.17% -0.30% 0.44% -0.59% 0.83% 0.40% 0.34% 0.45% -0.20% 0.49% -0.07% 0.07% -0.30% 0.15% -0.02% 0.09% 0.19% 0.26% -0.09% 0.17% 0.06% -0.01% 0.01% 0.23% -0.02% 0.04% 0.15% 0.02% 0.04% 0.12% 0.08% 0.04% 0.03% 0.00% 0.00% 0.03% -0.13% -0.04 0.12% 0.02% -0.30% 0.00%

▼ ▼ ▲ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▲ ▲ ▼ ▼ ▲ ▼ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▼ ▲ ▼ ▲ ▼ ▲ ▼ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▼ ▲ ▲ ▼ ▲ ▲ ▼ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ◆ ◆ ▲ ▼ ▼ ▲ ▲ ▼ ◆

*DATA DOES NOT INCLUDE VEHICLES REGISTERED IN NORTHERN IRELAND, THE ISLE OF MAN OR THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

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19/08/2020 12:29:18


Used bike data

Used bike data

FROM ONLY

What’s hot and what’s not in the used-motorcycle world

Top thirty fastest selling bikes Median number of days advertised before sale

1. Yamaha MT-125 _____________ 9 2. KTM EXC _________________ 11 3. Yamaha NMAX _____________ 14 4. Yamaha YZF-R125___________ 16 5. Honda SH125 _____________16.5 6. Honda CBF125 ____________16.5 7. Honda PCX125 ____________16.5 8. Honda CB125 ______________ 17 9. Yamaha X-MAX _____________ 17 10. Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird 19

11. Triumph Thunderbird 1700 ___19.5 12. Ducati Scrambler 800 ________ 20 13. Kawasaki Z1000 ___________20.5 14. Honda CBR125 _____________ 21 15. Honda NSS125A Forza _______ 23 16. BMW S1000R ______________ 25 17. Honda CBR500 _____________ 26 18. BMW R1250GS ____________ 26 19. Yamaha YBR125 ___________26.5 20. BMW R nine T______________ 27

he base layers are selling well, you’re made up that you upgraded to a new point of sale display of heated grips, and we’re now fully into the winter. We’ve seen a slight slowdown in speed of sale, as you might expect, but overall bikes are still selling on average 14 days faster than they were in November 2019. Buyers spent a total of over 14 million minutes browsing Auto Trader Bikes during the month, a 39% increase on the previous year. The level of demand for the time of year is incredibly strong, as it has been ever since the first lockdown. Scooters and 125cc machines are still proving to be a real hit, with eight out of the top 10 fastest selling bikes coming from those

categories – Honda and Yamaha having a particularly strong presence in that sector of the market. Naked and retro bikes make up the majority of the remaining list, together with a couple of well-known adventure favourites in the shape of BMW’s R1250GS and the Triumph Tiger 800.

T

21. Yamaha MT-07 ____________27.5 22. Triumph Tiger 800 __________ 28 23. Harley-Davidson Touring______ 28 24. Honda NC750 _____________ 28 25. Piaggio Vespa Primavera ______ 29 26. Honda CBR900RR Fireblade ___ 29 27. Triumph Bonneville T100 ____29.5 28. KTM 790 Duke ____________30.5 29. Honda CBF1000 ____________ 31 30. Honda CB500 _______________ 31

PAUL EDMONDSON Product lead Auto Trader Bikes Just creeping into the top ten quickest-selling machines on Auto Trader Bikes is the venerable Honda Super Blackbird. Not made since 2007, the sporting and touring potential of the big bird is obviously tempting buyers to snap them up

DEMAND SLOWS BUT STOCK IMPROVES RECENT FEEDBACK FROM DEALERS SUGGESTS that demand for used motorcycles continues to slow. However, with England experiencing its second lockdown throughout November and similar restrictions in the other three nations of the UK, this came as no surprise. With dealerships in England unable to open physical showrooms, this hindered sales as consumers were unable to view machines. However, despite these challenges, a number of dealers had a reasonable month with online-only sales. Although, lockdown-2 was lifted in early December, with the potential of a final flurry of activity, the main focus for the industry is now the 2021 season and the prospect of more consistent demand now that a Covid-19 vaccine is beginning to be rolled out.

generally evenly spread across the board, with the exception of larger capacity sports machines, which have become increasingly niche in recent years with this time of year typically the quietest.

TOP-SELLING MODELS

Stock availability continues to be a challenge, particularly quality 125cc machines. However, a number of dealers reported sourcing stock without issue but they are having to pay strong premiums as they come under pressure from competition and private internet sales. Despite this, a fair amount of dealers are satisfied with

125cc machines and scooters continue to be very buoyant, proving popular in towns and cities among commuters, and particularly with takeaway businesses. Adventure and naked machines also remain popular choices. However, as with recent months, demand is

With dealerships in England unable to open showrooms, this hindered sales as consumers were unable to view machines STOCK

their stock levels for the time of year.

SALES ACTIVITY Following a mild November, December started on a much colder note with frost and snow across much of the country leading to poor riding conditions. Despite this, there continues to be little sign of any significant decline in demand for bikes. Taking this into account and the fact that dealers will be looking to build their stock levels in preparation for the new season, the majority of values have been held, except where trade feedback or evidence from the market indicates models requiring specific adjustments. Finally, all at Glass’s hope you enjoyed a safe Christmas and wish you a more positive 2021!

Paul McDonald Leisure vehicle editor Glass’s

Contact Alison on 01237 422660 or adsales@dealernews.co.uk 58

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

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A

s a Covid massvaccination programme rolls out across Britain, the consensus of opinion naturally sees light at the end of our pandemic tunnel. But it has to be said that “normalisation” is still a distant prospect. Sorry to piss on your chips but, for starters, the monumental task of stabbing needles into enough arms to achieve herd immunity and thereby eliminate coronavirus from the community will be no overnight sensation. Vaccines have to be injected twice into about three-quarters of the entire population to meet that objective – somewhere in the region of 95 million co-ordinated inoculations. Estimates for how long this process will take vary. The worst-case scenario is up to the end of next September just for frontline NHS workers, care home residents, other vulnerable people with underlying health conditions and everybody over 50 years of age – far short of herd immunity. And it will probably have to be repeated on an annual basis. Then, after the medical emergency that has afflicted us throughout most of 2020 and beyond, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has already flagged up that an economic emergency attributable to the pandemic has only just begun. In his recent spending review, Sunak dished out unremittingly bad news. Government debt over the past year has reached an eye-bleeding peacetime record of £394bn and is set to keep on growing as long as support and stimulus interventions are required. In due

course, that bill will have to be settled by turbocharged austerity measures, in the form of higher taxation, wage freezes and public spending cuts. With many businesses having gone to the wall or nearing the point of collapse, and eventually un-furloughed workers facing redundancy rather than returning to their jobs, Sunak reckons UK unemployment could reach some 2.6 million people by the second quarter of 2021. Other observers think the situation could be much worse. The government’s independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) says gross domestic product plunged by 11.3% in 2020, its most dramatic decline for more than three centuries. Furthermore, while Sunak assiduously avoided the thorny subject of Brexit in his review, the OBR didn’t. Final departure from the EU, according to both the OBR and Bank of England, will wipe at least another 4% off annual economic output in the longer term. And in the short term, if severance turns completely sour, there’ll be an immediate 2% additional hit. Most economists agree that recovery is unlikely to gather pace properly until 2023 or 2024. It’s going to be a long haul, climbing out of the recessionary gutter. So how is the UK motorcycle trade positioned to survive in such deleterious circumstances? Exceedingly well, I believe. After the first Covid lockdown in springtime last year, demand for bikes staged a magnificent

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On the Money Market analysis with financial editor Roger Willis revival. As this magazine predicted with unerring accuracy way back in early April, the selfisolating advantage of powered two-wheelers was blatant. And it has proved to be an excellent sales pitch. Modesty precludes me from taking all the credit. During the second half of 2020 (if my estimate of December’s performance is in the ball park), new bike registrations will have jumped by about 22%. The used market also went ballistic – as

evidenced by dealers throughout the country desperately seeking to replenish secondhand stock, and inflated prices. The only reason for this progress stumbling in 2021 will be shortfalls of appropriately-priced inventory geared to the new rideto-work orthodoxy. Brands like Lexmoto 

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

59


On the Money

On the Money and Royal Enfield have enjoyed spectacular success by catering for cost-conscious consumers. Even Triumph has launched a judicious budget-buy proposition with the 660 Trident’s advent. And mighty Honda is pulling in all sorts of cheaper offerings from its diverse resources around the world too, capable of earning Euro 5 WVTA in the UK, to fend off the remorseless advance of Chinese bikes in the booming smaller-capacity sector. Realignment towards that sector has already achieved significant annual growth, although sales of larger, leisureoriented machines are still on the back foot. But this influx of new and returnee riders seeking primary transport should

translate into an increasing proportion of repeat customers, working their way up the

thesis that, historically, the motorcycle trade has very little to fear from any impending

Older dealers can recall the lamentable state of Britain’s economy and unemployment passing the three-million mark in the grim 1970s and early 1980s. They’ll also remember banking the profits from annual new sales running above 250,000 units for year after year during that period desirability chain, once seduced by biking’s allure. And it’s worth revisiting my

recession. Older dealers can recall the lamentable state of Britain’s economy and unemployment

passing the three-million mark in the grim 1970s and early 1980s. They’ll also remember banking the profits from annual new sales running above 250,000 units for year after year during that period. I suspect the costly disruptive impact of electrification isn’t going to materialise according to Boris Johnson’s accelerated carbon-free schedule either. His Damascene conversion to saving the planet by 2030 has plenty of room for slippage – considering a legendary Johnsonian propensity for tearing up sworn deadlines. Besides, the DfT recently admitted that banning petrol-engined bikes hasn’t been “scoped” for inclusion in the official cut-off date anyway. Discarding Boris’ bullshit on

International Share Prices A snapshot of bike and ATV industry share performance across key manufacturers and major global markets at the trading week closure on Friday 11 December 2020.

USA – BAH HUMBUG! American confidence crumbled progressively through the week. Indices began by hitting intra-day highs but soon faded thanks to a welter of bad news. A record number of fresh coronavirus cases in the US had led to a surge in factory shutdowns, accelerating first-time weekly unemployment benefit claims back up towards the million mark. Political infighting in Europe over the Brexit deal further destabilised Wall Street. All of New York’s key indices finished negative. The blue-chip S&P 500 fell by 1%, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average 0.6% down. S&P’s MidCap 400 lost less, just 0.2% lower.  Among the three powersports contenders, Textron was pretty much in line with market sentiment. But both Harley-Davidson and Polaris took considerably firmer spankings.  While the overall US investment mood was actually improving on Monday, our Hog-ometer went the other way, wiping 0.7% off Harley’s value. But upticks of 0.1% on Tuesday and then 1% on Wednesday lifted the share price 17 cents above the previous week’s $39.60 close. That was as good as it got. Thursday delivered a 1.6% retreat to $39.12, followed by a 2.7% plunge into the bottom end of 38-buck territory on Friday – more than a dollar missing in this single session.  So, after nine weeks of continuous growth, Harley-Davidson has now slid backwards by 6.9% over the past fortnight. Investors obviously failed to find any solace in the parallel

60

announcement of a 19 January roll-out date for Harley’s supposedly game-changing Pan America adventure bike.

stand-alone enterprises. Its large but currently loss-making motorcycle operations were on the top of this list.

EUROPE – BREXIT BLAME GAME

INDIA – CASINO CAPITALISM RULES

Apart from ongoing Covid-19 grief, the UK’s Brexit negotiation meltdown weighed heavily on European equities and Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax market index sank 1.4%.     BMW, which has three UK factories facing supply-chain disruption as well as tariff barriers, suffered the biggest reversal among biker-related stocks. Volkswagen copped a third consecutive weekly loss. Xmas joy was the sole prerogative of KTM parent Pierer, entirely bucking this trend with a sixth week of share-price growth – this time by a substantial amount. Down by 2.1%, the Borsa Italiana’s MIB index in Milan exaggerated German concerns. Energica’s previous two weeks of recovery flipped to a loss. Piaggio, which had flatlined for a fortnight, also turned negative. 

India’s Bombay Stock Exchange starred as the only major equities purveyor worldwide to add value during the past week, its BSE Sensex 30 index climbing yet again, this time by 2.3%. However, biker shares weren’t really invited to the party.     Domestic motorcycle market leader Hero and biggest exporter Bajaj narrowly managed to stay shiny side up but all the others sank.

JAPAN – SHARED MISERY Mindful of American gloom and beset by its own resurgent Covid-19 problems, Japan fell back from two weeks of positivity. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index declined by 0.4%. Three of the four indigenous Japanese bike manufacturers were in greater arrears. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, on the other hand, attracted growing enthusiasm for a decision to hive off several key divisions as more vigorously managed

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

CHINA – NO BETS ON DEBTS The Chinese government has just launched an aggressive attack on dodgy corporate debt, after a rising number of high-profile defaults. This tightening of nationalised bank purse strings threatens the soft loans upon which many of China’s more profligate and often partially state-owned industrial enterprises depend. Unsurprisingly, investors are now running for cover.     In response, Shanghai’s SSE Composite index dropped sharply by 2.8%. BDN’s index of the ten listed Chinese manufacturers was slightly worse, averaging 3.1% down. The only significant trend-bucker was CFMoto, which has just unveiled an 800cc adventure model based on KTM technology, destined for both domestic and export markets.

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climate change, the most fun and lucrative financial gain could come from hanging him by his own petard on the subject of extraneous pre-Brexit regulation. A promised bonfire of EU-legacy red tape seems to have been relegated to the back-burner while his government wallows in its multi-tiered ineptitude. Our primary agenda should focus on demolishing EC Driving Licence Directives currently still embedded into UK law. We should argue for abolition of the A1, A2 and A regime, in favour of a single high-standard riding test available to every candidate of 17 years or older. Any freedomloving prime minister would surely agree. An eagerness to pass, thereby

escaping the 125cc slow-lane firmament, would be sufficient incentive to take training. No further legal restrictions would be necessary under the neoliberal environment now allegedly promulgated by Westminster. Inevitable higher insurance costs would naturally rein in access to overly powerful steeds by qualified but less-experienced riders. And with licence acquisition thus simplified, we’d be selling a lot more bikes. Just imagine, many thousands of happy new customers riding across the sunlit uplands of a post-Brexit paradise, waving their blue passports at the grazing unicorns. Maintenance of social distancing may remain obligatory, though. 

Price

Week

Month

USA (Dollar) Harley-Davidson Polaris Industries Textron

38.06 93.86 47.63

-3.9% -3.2% -0.4%

+8.4% +0.7% +9.4%

Europe (Euro) BMW Volkswagen Pierer Mobility Piaggio Group Energica Motor

70.23 153.50 59.00 2.65 1.90

-6.2% -4.2% +7.3% -1.1% -4%

-0.6% -3.2% +12.4% +3.5% +11.8%

Japan (yen) Honda Yamaha Suzuki Kawasaki

3064 2184 5366 1793

-2.1% -1.9% -4.2% +11.9%

+5.1% +13.2% +3.7% +16.4%

India (rupee) Hero MotoCorp Bajaj Auto TVS Motor Eicher Motors Mahindra

3185.30 3327.65 484.20     2470.80 727.55

+0.2% +0.5% -2.8% -3.2% -3.1%

+1.8% +9.4% +1.3% -1.7% +15.5%

China (yuan) Qianjiang Zongshen Sundiro CETC Energy   Lifan Loncin Linhai Guangzhou Auto CFMoto

25.63 7.85 2.94 5.91 5.22 3.57 6.37 13.11 155.53

+0.6% -7.3% -1.7% N/A -0.2% -9.4% -6.6% -1.4% +7.6%

-11.0% -2.8% -3.0% -3.4% -1.1% -10.5% -8.7% +4.5% -7.2%

China (HK dollar) Jianshe

4.94

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-4.6%

+13.0%

Why Why fl flexibility exibility will will drive drive motorcycle motorcycle retail retail in in 2021 2021 Since the start of the pandemic, Since the start of the have pandemic, motorcycle dealers had motorcycle had to learn to dealers become have businesses to to become businesses thatlearn can switch between offering that can switch between offering extremes of primarily online and extremes of primarily showroom-based retailonline - or and any showroom-based - or any point in-between -retail at a moment’s point notice.in-between - at a moment’s notice. This is a crucial development. This a crucialthedevelopment. It hasis changed relationship It has changed relationship between those twothe spheres, almost between those two spheres, almost certainly permanently. Dealers who certainly permanently. Dealers saw themselves as digital-fi rstwho or saw themselves as digital-fi or showroom-fi rst concerns nowrst exist showroom-fi rstAlmost concerns now exist only in niches. everyone has only in niches. Almostapproach everyone and has adopted a hybrid adopted hybrid and approach and there is a agrowing widespread there is a growing widespread recognition that theand majority of bike recognition that the majority of time bike buyers use both paths at some buyers bothjourney paths atand some time in theiruse buying expect in buying journey and expect to their be able to switch between these to able to switch twobechannels at will. between these two channels at will. So what does this mean as we head So does this mean as we head intowhat 2021? Simply, that dealers will into Simply, dealers will need2021? to provide anthat equally positive need provide an equally positive and to complementary experience and complementary experience for buyers digitally and in the for buyers digitally and in the showroom. showroom.

It therefore makes sense to It thereforethemakes consolidate systemssense used to consolidate the systems to handle their needs into one used solution handle needs into one solution and, at their iVendi, we’re looking at next and, at terms iVendi,ofwe’re looking year in an idea that at wenext are year in ‘connected terms of anretailing.’ idea thatWe we link are calling calling retailing.’ We link retailer,‘connected lender and consumer at retailer, lender andbuying consumer at every stage of the process every stagedecision of the buying process– - research, and purchase -through research, decision and purchase a range of online products– through range of online products that are auniformly effective both that effective both onlineare anduniformly at the dealership. online and at the dealership. Connected retailing is all about Connected retailing is all about enabling everyone involved in enabling everyone in the process to moveinvolved seamlessly the process to move between channels at seamlessly will. That between channels at will.toThat means using technology let means using technology to they let your customers go wherever your go wherever they want customers in this new, hybrid onlinewant in thisworld, new, whenever hybrid onlineshowroom they showroom world, whenever choose to do so. We believe itthey will choose do so. it will be a keyto trend for We the believe next year. be a key trend for the next year.

Russell White VP of Sales Russell White

VP of Sales iVendi Limited russell.white@ivendi.com iVendi Limited russell.white@ivendi.com

iVendi is the international market leader in iVendi ismotor the international marketworking leader in connected retail technology, with connected retail technology, working with everyonemotor from dealers and manufacturers to everyone from dealers and manufacturers to portals and finance providers. portals and finance providers.

To find out more contact us To nd out us on fi 0330 229more 0028contact or email on 0330 229 0028 or email tellmemore@ivendi.com tellmemore@ivendi.com

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

61


New registrations

Registration data New motorcycle and scooter registrations for November 2020 2020 / 2019 Registrations by Style MOPEDS

Nov 2020

Year to Date Nov 2019

Change

Nov 2020

Nov 2019

Highest Registering Model by Style

% Change

Nov 2020 Registrations

Moped Scooters

354

364

-2.7%

4727

4588

3.0%

Lexmoto Echo 50

40

Moped Others

157

92

70.7%

1633

1233

32.4%

Surron Light Bee

24

TOTAL MOPEDS

511

456

12.1%

6360

5821

9.3%

MOTORCYCLES Adventure Sport

922

906

1.8%

15968

18129

-11.9%

Honda CRF1100

64

Custom

535

358

49.4%

6834

7407

-7.7%

Keeway Superlight

176

Naked

1464

1772

-17.4%

29481

32920

-10.4%

KTM 1290 Superduke GT

74

Scooter

1344

1458

-7.8%

20316

19117

6.3%

Yamaha NMax 125

168

Sport/Tour

72

129

-44.2%

2252

2418

-6.9%

Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX

24

Supersport

439

372

18.0%

7092

7709

-8.0%

Lexmoto LXR125

140

60

77

-22.1%

1530

2066

-25.9%

BMW R 1250 RT

31

541

439

23.2%

5876

6080

-3.4%

KTM 300 EXC TPI

69

5

1

400.0%

148

53

179.2%

5382

5512

-2.4%

89497

95899

-6.7%

Touring Trail/Enduro Unspecified TOTAL MOTORCYCLES TRICYCLES Scooter

59

17

247.1%

474

338

40.2%

Honda Gyrocanopy

22

Other

30

19

57.9%

383

355

7.9%

BRP Can-Am Ryker Rally 900 ACE

5

TOTAL TRICYCLES

89

36

147.2%

857

693

23.7%

5982

6004

-0.4%

96714

102413

-5.6%

TOTAL REGISTRATIONS

2020 / 2019 Registrations by Capacity ENGINE BAND 0 - 50cc

Nov 2020

Year to Date

Nov 2019

% Change

Nov 2020

Nov 2019

Nov 2020 Registrations

Highest Registering Model by Style

% Change

630

549

14.8%

7319

6303

16.1%

Lexmoto Echo 50

40

51 - 125cc

2464

2403

2.5%

35425

32396

9.3%

Keeway Superlight

176

126 - 650cc

1195

1150

3.9%

18656

21266

-12.3%

KTM 300 EXC TPI

69

651 - 1000cc

869

963

-9.8%

18564

22349

-16.9%

Yamaha Tenere

55

over 1000cc

824

939

-12.2%

16750

20099

-16.7%

KTM 1290 Superduke GT

74

5982

6004

-0.4%

96714

102413

-5.6%

TOTAL REGISTRATIONS

BRANDS CHART Top Ten Manufacturers Nov 2020 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Honda ..........................................703 Lexmoto .......................................675 Yamaha .........................................578 KTM .............................................525 Triumph ........................................362 Kawasaki.......................................294 BMW ............................................253 Keeway .........................................238 Piaggio..........................................175 Suzuki...........................................136

Alternative power registrations November 2020 Alternative power registrations data is included in the overall market data shown in the tables above

2020 / 2019 Registrations by Capacity POWER BAND Under 1kW

Nov 2020

Year to Date

Nov 2019

% Change

Nov 2020

Nov 2019

% Change

2

7

-71.4%

47

56

1-4kW

115

110

4.5%

1378

986

39.8%

4-11kW

10

3

233.3%

90

31

190.3%

15-35kW

-16.1%

3

5

-40.0%

52

77

-32.5%

over 35kW

15

16

-6.3%

119

43

176.7%

Unknown

73

48

52.1%

487

298

63.4%

218

189

15.3%

2173

1491

45.7%

TOTAL REGISTRATIONS

2020/2019 Registrations by Style MOTORCYCLES Adventure Sport

tel 02476 408000; www.mcia.co.uk

62

Nov 2019

Mopeds

5

2

Naked

20

Scooter

Nov 2020

Nov 2019

Moped Scooters

62

79

50

Moped Others

61

17

45

37

TOTAL MOPEDS

123

96

2

0

TRICYCLES

Trail/Enduro

18

4

Commercial Tricycle

0

1

Unspecified

3

0

Tricycle

2

0

93

93

TOTAL TRICYCLES

2

1

218

190

Supersport

Registration statistics supplied by the MCIA;

Nov 2020

TOTAL MOTORCYCLES

TOTAL ALTERNATIVE POWER REGISTRATIONS

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


SHRUGGING OFF NOVEMBER’S LOCKDOWN in England, dealerships displayed impressive resilience, as overall numbers stayed within a whisker of year-on-year equality. During a month when English dealer showrooms had to close their doors again to trade remotely, and many were also suffering from inventory shortages, total registrations fell by just 0.4% to 5982. Motorcycles were 0.4% down too, to 4038. Scooters sank by a firmer 7.8% at 1344, while mopeds added 12.1% to 511. Trikes climbed by 147.2% to 89. This year’s Covid-beating success story in the 0-125cc range continued, albeit to a lesser degree than in recent months, growing by 4.8% to 3094 in November. For the eleven months of 2020 to date, the sector was 10.5% up to 42,744. Conversely, November figures for 126cc-plus machines dropped by 5.4% to 2888. But within that, the 126-650cc band put on 3.9% to 1195. On a YTD basis, 126cc-plus has declined by 15.3% to 53,970. Headline YTD volume stood at 96,714, 5.6% in arrears.

BRAND BEAUTY PARADE November’s beauty parade of leading brands very much highlighted which of them had plenty of stock in desirable capacity classes at the right price, and those desperately awaiting replenishment. As ever, Honda held sway at the front. But its year-on-year count plummeted by a cruel 49.6% due to the aforementioned empty-showroom syndrome. Lexmoto, on the other hand, grabbed runner-up slot with a 33.4% rise. Yamaha had to make do with third, 13.3% down despite its NMax 125 pushing Honda off the scooter podium and the Ténéré

Monthly Registrations Rolling Year Comparison

700 winning 651-1000cc warfare. KTM took a strong fourth spot thanks to registrations surging by 52.6% compared with November 2019. Keenly-priced stars of that show were the 1290 Superduke GT taking naked style and highest-registered over-1000cc titles. The brand’s 300 EXC enduro iron did the same in its

November’s beauty parade of leading brands very much highlighted which of them had plenty of stock in desirable capacity classes at the right price

surfaced in eighth, its Superlight model taking both custom style and 51-125cc accolades as well as being the highest-registered model overall for the month. There was another rare appearance for Piaggio in ninth and Suzuki claimed the final position with registrations shrivelling by 24.4%. Some 10,695 registrations in the final month of 2020 are now required to pass the previous year’s total of 107,408, which is completely unfeasible without a massive last-minute preregistered “fake news” burst of underogated Euro 4 stock. In December 2019, MCIA statistics clocked up 4995 machines. So a monumental 114.1% improvement on that would be necessary to do the job. Although monthly market recovery has been impressive post-lockdown, most notably with respective 41.9% and 31.2% increases in July and August, nothing remotely in that league is likely. A December hike of around 20% to somewhere in the region of 6000 may be possible.

style category and the 126-650cc engine band. Triumph was 5.2% up in fifth, beating arch-foe BMW, which had dived by 26.1%. Kawasaki followed in seventh, just 1.6% lower than last November’s tally. MotoGB’s Keeway brand, a rather intermittent visitor to the chart,

Keeway’s Superlight cruiser was the best-selling PTW in November. Its small-capacity Euro 4 motor appealing to commuters with attitude.

NMDA COMMENT

N

ovember’s motorcycle sales figures confirmed a fantastic year-on-year performance, during a challenging trading period, with dealers embracing the use of click and collect to meet consumer demand through the second lockdown”, said Paddy O’Connell, Head of the NMDA, commenting on the latest MCIA figures. “Registrations were only marginally down compared to November 2019, -0.4%, a real figure of just 22 units, and year to date the PTW market is just 5.6% down compared with 2019. “The scooter market remains strong, up 3.0% year to date, despite some dealers reporting a lack of stock availability. In November, sales driven by new riders using motorcycles for first and last mile delivery services were hampered by the fact that Compulsory Basic Training could not be undertaken during the lockdown. “Sales increases in custom, supersport

and trail/enduro indicate that many are still turning to PTWs for their leisure time as travel and expenditure on many other hobbies are severely restricted. Honda retained top spot, although the gap between it and Lexmoto narrowed. The wallet-friendly Keeway Superlight was the outstanding winner in November with 176 units registered. “The growth in electric motorcycles does not seem to have slowed, and the NFDA’s Government-backed Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme reopened in October and recently received its first applications from motorcycle dealers, showing dealers’ growing expertise in the EV sector. “November’s strong results pay testament to the resilience and flexibility of motorcycle dealers. Our members’ performance shone through and we will continue to work closely with them to offer assistance and support” concluded O’Connell. NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE DEALERS ASSOCIATION

www.britishdealernews.co.uk

DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

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New registrations

REGISTRATIONS OVERWHELM LOCKDOWN


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