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Scooter Sales Soar


As many of my regular readers know, I frequently appear on broadcast outlets around the world, from Chicago's mega-station WJR -- where I spent nearly an hour with host Jon Williams today -- to National Public Radio to the Voice of America. One of my favorite on-air roles is as a weekly commentator for Detroit's WJR, "the Voice of the Great Lakes." I'll be posting my WJR Auto Report in the blog each week. And you can go to the WJR.com website to hear it, as well.

Today's piece was triggered by a report I received indicating that even while motorcycle sales have plunged, motor scooters are hotter than hybrids, with sales up 23.6 percent since the beginning of the year.

Here's my WJR Auto Report:

Every year, as the weather warms up, I crave my old motorcycle. There’s something about spring that makes me – and millions of other folks - feel like getting back on a bike. And 2008, I promised myself, was the year I’d do it. Well, at least that was my intention. But I’m starting to think twice. Considering the current price of gas, I still like the idea of riding on two wheels, but the better solution, it seems, might be to go for a scooter. OK, you get some funny looks from the guys on the Harleys and pocket rockets. But brands like Vespa and Piaggio have a sort of retro-cool quality, and, better yet, there’s a real, practical value. Some of the smaller scooters can deliver as much as 75, even 80 miles to the gallon. Sure, you won’t go all that fast, and you can’t haul a week’s worth of groceries, but manufacturers have been adding practical features, including more storage space. And for day-to-day runs around town, scooters are hard to beat.

I’m TCC Team, of TheCarConnection.com, and that’s the WJR Auto Report.
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Comments (4)
  1. They need also :[consumer]
    too , check , the regular sized.
    traditional motorcycles,
    most at 250/300cc{motorcycles*not scooters} that get 70/85MilePer-gee.
    A Motorcycle and or Scooter: Under- 4,000USdollars.
    Has been the greatest Bargain, since motorized anything!.
    Convenience! : HA!.
    There never has been nor will there ever be any"" Conveniences "" to a traffic jam!, or RUSH Hour traffic.
    With a 100hundred percent ""TOTAL LOSS "" system [ the consumers bank account any way! ], developed by the auto industry, for the Conveniences' of them and there business partners.
    Shame they never"'thunk"" to build cycles{Scooters} themselves!.
    If they all fall!! !!: so be it.
    None will be "" MISSED ""!! !!.
     
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  2. 26% is not such a huge rise, maybe they are limited by the supply and sell every one they got. it would be interesting to see if scooter dealers sell above list price, like some dealers used to do with hybrid autos.
    Scooters are an excellent solution to commuting, esp. in such warm and dry places as CA and most of the SW.
    Bikes can also be used for grocery shopping, if you add a couple sidebags.
    In the Snowbelt, scooters and bikes can be used only 6-8 months a year conveniently.
    there ar eplenty of 50 cc scooters and small bikes that can give you 100 MPG, and can go to speeds you actually achieve while stop-go commuting. I doubt they would slow anybody down considerably.
     
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  3. Supply is a huge issue. I work at a Honda/Suzuki bike dealership that is the largest in our area. We have been sold out of 50cc scooters for weeks and when we call Honda... they have no eta. No one expected to sell so many this year, including manufacturers.
     
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  4. When I visited Barcelona it seemed every guy under 25 owned a scooter. The hilarious thing was that whenever you saw a girl walking down the street a guy on a scooter would pull up and cruise along side her and beep the horn. Was he expecting her to hop on the handlebars.
    Granted they're not the best for picking up women but scooters are a really logical option for commuting or errands. The only real issue is the danger of getting plowed over by a car.
     
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