The Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors is confident its upcoming show at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, from August 24-26 will provide a boost to sales in an industry still recovering from the global economic downturn of 2008/9. AMiD’s national director, Réhann Coetzee said: “The AMiD show has been held at numerous venues over the years and in 2011 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.FAR FROM BOOM DAYS“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.”South Africans bought 34 214 motorcycles, in 2011, but this figure does not include off-road motorcycles, quads and all-terrain vehicles. 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, scooters 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 in 2009.“Although there is movement in the scooter, commuter and adventure classes, motorcycle sales are generally flat,” Coetzee said. “There have been some exciting product launches but exchange-rate fluctuations do influence sales negatively.”“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 spending was cut sharply after the global economic slowdown since 2009.”He also said two-wheelers made commuting cheaper and quicker than a car or public transport and parking is made much easier.STRICTER LICENCE LAWSHowever, Coetzee said that the perceived danger of riding a motorcycle or scooter and obtaining a rider’s licence were barriers to entry into this market. AMiD was “very happy” with its latest discussions with the Gauteng Transport Department regarding licensing and progress was being made. He said AMiD supported 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,” Coetzee said.