Import numbers down

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The Big Four have seen a drop in production since Japan was hit by a major earthquake.
The Big Four have seen a drop in production since Japan was hit by a major earthquake.

The Canadian motorcycle industry still seems to be in a bit of a slump, according to Powersports Business.

The Big Four’s production and export numbers have been released for April, and while it comes as no shock that Japan hasn’t built as many motorcycles since being hit by a major earthquake, it’s surprising to compare the Canadian and U.S. import numbers in.

The U.S. imported 55.2 per cent more motorcycles in April, 2011, than they did in April, 2010. We would have expected that; as far back as March, U.S. dealers were reporting an increase in sales.

What’s surprising, though, is that Canadian imports from Japan dropped 35.5 per cent in April of 2011, when compared to April 2010. Even though Canada’s weathered the economic recession more easily than the U.S., it seems, the motorcycle industry isn’t showing much improvement.

Of course, many other factors can come into play when looking at early-season bike sales, and a few weeks of miserable weather can hurt a dealership a lot. It’s not too late to see a recovery for the Canadian industry this season.

Availability is another factor that will also come into play. Japanese production was down 20.2 per cent in April, 2011, when compared to April, 2010. If the bikes aren’t there, Canada can’t import them, no matter how well our industry is doing.

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