Positive news on the economy, coupled with the annual spring selling season is currently driving auction prices higher. This month, nearly all segments in the motorcycle and powersports market are trending upward, but at a slightly slower rate than April. This is especially true for the ATV segment, which is only up by an average of $44/unit, or about 1.5 percent. Most on and off-road bikes are showing solid gains averaging $55/unit, which is a 4.5 percent increase.
Personal watercraft and jet boats are up around 5 percent as people around the country look forward to outdoor watersports activities now that warm weather is finally here. At the other end of the weather spectrum, snowmobiles are down 3.5 percent.
The vast majority of street bikes and scooters are up by a little less than 3 percent, while the V-Twin heavy cruiser market is up by a little over 3 percent, with the 3- to 7-year-old models showing the strongest gains. This continues a trend we noted last month, where older models are outpacing gains in 1- and 2-year old units. Rather than being a negative reflection on the newer models, we see this as a positive sign that the used market is gaining in overall strength.
For the past few years, we have consistently seen the 1- and 2-year-old units, especially those with low mileage, hold their value better than older units as value-conscious customers looked to buy used instead of new to save money, while still wanting “newer” units.
The return of a strong used market among the older vehicles hopefully indicates that we have once and for all turned the corner on the past several years of market volatility and generally softer values than we have seen since the recession began.