12/12/2007 - 22:00

Range of options available for two-wheel enthusiasts

12/12/2007 - 22:00

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The scooter market in Western Australia is dominated by a handful of brands and 50cc models, although consumer trends are beginning to change.

Range of options available for two-wheel enthusiasts

The scooter market in Western Australia is dominated by a handful of brands and 50cc models, although consumer trends are beginning to change.

The three biggest selling brands – Vmoto, Bolwell and Honda – dominate the market, accounting for 57 per cent of total sales in WA.

The other 23 brands available make up the balance of the market.

Perth-based Vmoto Ltd is at the top of the list with 24 per cent of market share, selling 669 scooters in the year ending August 2007.

The company is followed closely by Melbourne-based Bolwell, with 22 per cent of sales, while Japanese brand Honda has an 11 per cent share.

While Bolwell is the biggest selling brand nationally, it is edged out by Vmoto in WA, reflecting the latter’s local presence.

Vmoto also has the top-selling scooter model in Australia – the Monza – which is a 50cc scooter and retails for $1,890.

The Monza claimed 13 per cent of market share in WA last year.

Honda’s equivalent, the Today, is the second biggest selling model locally, followed by the Bolwell Jive.

Joondalup-based Ace Scooters dealer principal Steve Laing said the 50cc category was strongest due to its lower pricing and convenience.

“The majority of people are interested in 50ccs because they don’t need an additional licence [to a car licence] – they can just get on and ride away,” he said.

Despite this, larger scooters in the 125cc to 250cc range are becoming more popular.

Vmoto has two 125cc models – Monaco and Montego – and recently had its first 150cc scooter, called Monte Carlo, approved by the government regulator.

The company plans to release it in January.

Vmoto sales manager Tanwyn Travers said the model, which is a two-seater with a four stroke engine, was being introduced to cater for freeway commuters and those wanting to travel long distances, particularly in the New South Wales and Victorian markets.

Bolwell’s 250cc Firenze has also become one of the brand’s top selling models in the past year.

While 650cc models are the largest currently available, an 850cc model is expected to be introduced next year.

European brands, like Piaggio’s Vespa, are available in WA and tend to be priced at the premium end of the market.

However, Mr Laing said more expensive and established models were beginning to generate interest among consumers.

“Piaggio this year grew about 1,000 per cent in Australia. As people become more aware of the scooter market, they’re becoming a bit more discerning,” he said.

Another trend is the emergence of a second-hand market, which Mr Laing said had dampened the pace of growth in the industry over the past few years.

“The secondhand market is very buoyant and prices are very high,” he said.

“People can buy a scooter for $2,000 and sell it three years later for $1,500. They really retain their value.”

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