Scooter Sales Down in the US in 2019

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by cabanza, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. cabanza

    cabanza Smooth is Fast

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    #1
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  2. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    I'm pretty sure all of us left that are both riding scooters and licensed post in this forum.
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  3. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

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  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Not surprised, I've heard that from dealers too. Many are just not ordering any more.

    Scooter West is now an electric NIU dealer now. That may be the only way to sell any to younger riders.

    At this point e-bikes are so good and don't require liscense, insurance or tags that younger buyers are giving up on gas scooters.

    Much of the US has poor winter conditions to own a pay for a scooter to be not used a chunk of the year.

    Young people don't buy like that anymore and old guy scooter sales are only so small per year. Only year round riding places sell scooters.

    Young people have small SUVs for longer trips and e-bikes for local transport.

    Scooters won't die in the US but will be morphed into a rent an electric one as you need it just like stand up ones.

    The golden age of bigger gas scooters is over for the US. Mfg better all offer electric model or they will just pull out completely with those #s. Trends have changed.

    If you have a scooter you love just keep it going or jump on a deal if something catches your eye. Don't hold your breath anything new is coming over the horizon guys.
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  5. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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    um, scooter sales are not down 35% in 2019. That is misleading in the extreme. Scooter+Street sales are down just 4% in the past year. However, over the past nine years scooters sales have indeed dropped 35% according to the data provided. One possibility not mentioned is that 2011 might have been a record year for scooters, which would skew the percentages. A rolling average would be more telling of trends.
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  6. longhaul747

    longhaul747 Long timer

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    I am not surprised by this either. Motorcycle sales are down in general and scooters have always been a weak part of the motorcycle market. Hopefully manufactures at least continue to bring in at least some of the models as its still a small but rather established market. I remember back in the mid 2000's when the only smaller scooters over 50cc's available was the Honda Elite 80 or an assortment of Chinese brands which were mostly garbage. Now the selection is pretty good compared to those days. I am afraid we will go back to just a few select models or 50cc beach boardwalk models again!

    Maybe gas prices will jump up over $5 a gallon and resurrect the market again? Problem is you have so many other alternatives and younger generations won't even consider anything with 2 wheels.
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  7. Tromper

    Tromper Sagaciously Annoying Supporter

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    Add lane splitting and some aggressive (free) marketing where folks can ride 'em on a closed lot & I think you could turn it around at least to a point.
    As all of us in the U.S. know if the bug bites you're hooked. The contraside of that is that if you're never exposed the bug won't even get those who are prone to the infection.
    Far as e-bikes replacing small scoots go, I do see it sure. That said.. I suspect (and see glimmers of) that someone brilliant will say "Hey, we have all this space on the frame..let's add some native storage"...and there we go again.
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  8. forkintheroad

    forkintheroad Been here awhile

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    No one has ever figured out how to market scooters in the US. Even companies that depend on their scooter sales like Kymco, Genuine, and Sym have had a dismal public outreach and marketing attempts.
    I have seen salesmen at Honda dealerships steer customers away from the metro or pcx they were looking at, letting them know that that scooter wasn't very useful (why are they selling them, then?) in hopes of a better commission only to have the customer leave bewildered because they didn't want a motorcycle and were just told by the only professional they'd ever talk to that they didn't want a scooter, either.

    A lot of scooters were sold, many of them generic Chicom pieces of junk around 10 years ago when the market crashed. I could very well believe 35% of sales were lost since then, but I don't think scooters are going away in the US, either. I do think the low quality, badly maintained garbage that sprung up at fly by night shops hurt the industry.

    The battery electric scooter may do well, if they follow the Gogoro model. There will still need to be licensing, though.
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  9. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    I don't have a problem with ebikes for two reasons. One, I would not use one for transportation, just for recreation, and two, the most important, for me it would replace a pedal bike, something that never had an engine. I would never be able to accept battery power for something that I feel should have an ICE engine, such as a car, motorcycle, or scooter, as my main reason for liking them IS the ICE. I have been seriously thinking about replacing my Honda Rebel with a scooter. I already have 3 scooters, but one of them is a kick start only, manual shift, manual transmission model that I might have a hard time riding as I get older and my health conditions get worse (same with the Rebel) I still use a gas powered car for actual transportation, and always will, unless gas just gets too expensive to afford to drive a car all the time. I did try a scooter for some transportation for over a year, but it does take more effort than a car, so I slowly went back to a car full time. I can't say that some day I will not be in one of those battery powered mobility scooters, but that would be a matter of absolute necessity.

    I don't think scooters will ever completely disappear in the U.S., there has always been some kind of scooter here. But it may become a very small niche market (if it isn't already) and that would make scooters very expensive. The Honda Ruckus became a national craze. I don't know what is happening in that scene since Total Ruckus went away, but Honda is still selling them. I also know where to get a couple of 2 stroke mopeds.
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  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    If gas jumps up like that then electric scooters sales increase even that much more. I expect we are going to see a sales wave of new electric scooters, motos, cars, bicycles etc in the next few years. Gas powered scooters are just going to fade away over time if dealerships think they can sell electric ones.
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  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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  12. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    I think the EV thing has more to do with the bandwagon thing than actual practicality. People are jumping on the EV bandwagon because it is trendy. Many later find that EV simply do not work for them. I know 2 such people. It will be many decades before there is a serious decline in gas powered vehicles. To succeed, EVs will have to completely match the practicality of ICE vehicles, including price, range, and recharging time, plus there will have to be as many recharging places as there are gas stations. And it would be great if they could make fairly non toxic batteries.
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  13. Pete-NZ

    Pete-NZ Long timer

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    I read a while back that Honda have approached Suzuki/Yamaha/Kawasaki
    about working on a standardised replaceable battrey packs..
    Can still charge at home over night... during the day just chance the packs out
    at the dealerships as there is already a world wide net work they can utilize...
    no longer than filling up with gas...

    I imagine that most dealerships would jump at the chance of extra income...
    It's coming.... In 10 years motorcycling is going to be a different world....


    ..
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  14. sk8norcal

    sk8norcal Been here awhile

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    As mentioned elsewhere, people that would have buy a 50 or 150 cc scooters are buying electric bicycles.

    To me, that's a good thing.
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  15. MrVvrroomm

    MrVvrroomm Been here awhile

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    I've been riding scooters since the early 2000's. When the price of gas is high everyone asks: what's your mpg? how fast does it go? do I need a motorcycle license to ride it?

    When the price of gas is low, like today no one even acknowledges a scooter.
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  16. forkintheroad

    forkintheroad Been here awhile

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    Take a look at how Gogoro handles it.

    Their smartscooter is desiged to work on their battery network. In a large metropolitan area there are automated kiosks, essentually battery vending machines (I think Taiwan has over 1200 of them, so far). When your Gogoro scooter is low on battery power, you pull up, take your current battery out of its older under the seat, and pop in a new one. The system records the switch and keeps track of battery life on the individual packs. For the user it is essentially seamless and faster than even a gas station visit, down to a few seconds.

    There will always be a few people who want the ICE engine, but the future of city scooters, which will always be their primary use, is electrical. for storage and ease of use, and convenience in commuting, the e-scooter will eventually outsell the e-bike in the same way peddle mopeds are mostly a memory.

    Gogoro went from not existing 10 years ago to having 34% of Taiwan's scooter market, one of the largest on earth. They're doing something right.
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  17. theloop

    theloop Long timer

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    Where would you chage the batteries out on a Sunday?
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  18. kaertner

    kaertner Long timer

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    automated kiosks, just like Gogoro. That's the future and the kiosks (like a drinks/cigarette vending machine) can be anywhere where there is an electrical supply, so the infrastructure is basically already there, no fuel delivery necessary in huge trucks/tankers etc which means even less pollution/congestion on the roads.
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  19. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    How does it work out in the country, and between cities? Taiwan has a very different infrastructure than the U.S. The U.S. is designed around cars. Right now Phoenix, AZ is working on a several year project to add 2 lanes to nearly 100 miles of urban freeway.
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  20. rdhood

    rdhood Been here awhile

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    "In a large metropolitan area there are automated kiosks"

    LOL. 1.2 billion people in the world don't have access to electricity at all, and most of the rest don't have access to an electrical grid that can support EVs. HINT: Unless someone is footing the bill to push electricity to every corner of the world, ICE vehicles are going to be with us a LONG, LONG time.

    BTW, Here is my estimation of how this is going to go: The third world needs power. They cant afford it. Just about every 20-30 years, the first world is going to cast off terawatts of solar panels that are degraded by 10 or 20% due to age. Now, if you read articles in different trade magazines, this is going to create a HUGE waste problem. But if you look at this logically, this is how the third world is going to get powered up. Solar just doesn't die after X years. It degrades slowly, but keeps on putting out power. It is going to take several successions of solar cell replacement to get enough solar into the third world to get everyone powered... maybe 80 or 100 years. It could happen faster... as power gets into the third world, economies could pick up to the point where they can afford newer technology. But if you are in rural India or Africa, the "grid" is not coming to you with sufficient power and regularity AND COST to rely on an EV vehicle for a very, very long time. Electric vehicles will be prohibitively expensive for the poor people in those areas... even if they could extend electricity to the four corners of the world.
    #20