The Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors (AMiD) is confident its upcoming show, to be staged at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, from August 24-26, will provide a boost to sales in an industry that is still recovering from the effects of the global economic downturn in 2008/9. This is the opinion of AMiD’s national director, Réhann Coetzee.

Johannesburg Bike Show

“The AMiD Show has been held at a number of venues over the years and in 2011 it formed part of the Johannesburg Motor Show, but now it will benefit from three shows being co-hosted at Expo Centre at the same time, so we are hopeful of large crowds of visitors,” said Coetzee. “The other shows will be the Johannesburg Boat Show and the Outdoor Lifestyle Show, which will fit in well with our motorcycle and quad displays.”

The organisers of the three-for-the-price of one show, SA Show Services, had an information stand at the very successful 1000 Bikes Show, at Germiston High School, to promote the upcoming event.

Last year South African bought 34 214 motorcycles, but this figure does not include all off-road motorcycles, quads and all-terrain vehicles as the yare only redirected with the Department of Transport should a finance house require it. The total includes non-AMiD brands such as Harley-Davidson and Vespa and the so-called “grey” imports, while AMiD members retailed 26 553 motorcycles, scoters and quads in 2011.

Coetzee said that the industry is still far from the boom days of 2007 and 2008, when 50 593 and 54 720 motorcycles were sold respectively. Sales then plummeted to 30 484 units in 2009.

AMiD Motorcycle & Quad Lifestyle Show 24 – 26 August 2012 Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec

The AMiD executive said that that unlike other developing economies two-wheelers were that most motorcycles in SA are sold as leisure and lifestyle items, where as in many countries in the Far East and many countries in Africa small motorcycles and scooters form a major portion of inhabitants’ transport needs.

Most motorcycles sold in SA have engines larger than 150cc. AMiD member statistics show that only 21,2% of two-wheelers sales are scooters, with a further 16,6% being motorcycles with engines of less than 150cc.

“Although there is movement in the scooter, commuter and adventure classes, motorcycle sales are generally flat. Although there have been some exciting new product launches, exchange rate fluctuations do influence sales negatively. Although the exchange rates between the Rand and the Euro and Sterling corrected to previous levels, the Yen remains very expensive and that has put a lot of pricing pressure on sales,” commented the AMiD executive.

“Despite that, there still is a marginal growth in sales and we do believe the market is recuperating, but much slower than we had hoped it would. This must be seen in the light of the fact that motorcycles are generally leisure items and leisure spend was cut sharply after the global economic slowdown since 2009,” added Coetzee.

He also said that two-wheelers made commuting cheaper and quicker than using a car or public transport while also giving the rider independence and parking is also far easier.

However, Coetzee said that the perceived danger of riding a motorcycle or scooter and obtaining a rider’s licence are barriers to entry into this market. He noted that AMiD was “very happy” with its latest discussions with the Gauteng Transport Department regarding licensing and progress was being made. Coetzee said AMiD was supportive of stricter licensing requirements, including compulsory training to ensure only skilled riders were on the roads.

“We are now looking forward to a bumper show at Expo Centre in August to promote the benefits of riding motorcycles and scooters as a positive way of increasing the market for our members,” concluded Coetzee.