Industry figures released by the Federal Chamber of
Automotive Industries show sales of bikes, all-terrain vehicles and scooters
were up 3226 or 3 per cent to 109,067 while new cars sales dropped 2.6 per
FCAI executive director Ian Chalmers said scooter sales were
up 8.9 per cent to 11,374 as people sought to "avoid high petrol prices
and increasingly congested metropolitan roads".
Major scooter retailer Joe D'ercole says sales of scooters
will climb even higher this year as public transport costs soar by 15 per cent.
"I can't believe even more people aren't buying cheaper
transport, especially with public transport costs rising," said D'ercole.
Scootpoia business was the top seller of Vespa and Piaggio
scooters last year.
"Scooter sales have come back but not to pre-GFC boom
levels. It's a bit like what happened with the solar scheme; people started
importing cheap Chinese imports and they've failed.
"The dealers that are still surviving are those with
"I've seen 19 scooter shops come and go in Brisbane alone since I
started selling scooters in 1995."
Stephen Aldenton is a scooter convert who believes he's
saved more than $12,000 on transport costs in the past six-and-a-half years
since buying his 150cc Vespa.
The retired army officer has even prepared an Excel spread
sheet on the comparative costs of driving his car and scooter.
"I've worked out the cost of running my old Mercedes is
about 70 cents per kilometre and the Vespa is about 16 cents, so I save about
54 cents per kilometre," he said.
"It's the best thing I ever did."
Along with scooters, ATVs were also up (18.4 per cent to
3486); sales of motorcycles remained reasonably static throughout the year.
Sales of road bikes recovered strongly in the fourth
quarter, finishing the year 1.4 per cent ahead of 2010 with 38,628 sales.
The only segment not to grow in 2011 was off-road