Sales plunge in Q1 2020 and further drops looming – how long can motorcycle companies bleed?
The oldest adage in the automotive industry is ‘when the car business sneezes, motorcycles catch a cold’. While this might seem stale in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that it is not quite the case. The global shutdown has had a devastating impact on new car and bike sales. For example – in India, the world’s second largest motorcycle market, Suzuki and Hero Honda reported a drop in sales of 43%, Royal Enfield 44%, and Bajaj a massive 55% in Q1 2020 – and this was even before the official lockdown was imposed on 25th March. The situation was no better in Europe with Italy – home of the iconic Vespa brand – being hit hardest. Sales figures there plummeted by 66% in Q1 2020.
Motorcycle companies taking steps to counter COVID-19 – will they suffice?
To better cope with the outbreak, motorcycle manufacturers are rapidly integrating technology to streamline their production process and optimize manufacturing. Furthermore, they are seeking to diversify their component suppliers so that a single bottleneck does not bring the whole system tumbling down. Even though companies are taking steps in each market they operate to comply with local regulations, the effects of COVID-19 on the global motorcycle market have been swift, brutal, and completely unprecedented. Unfortunately, the situation is likely to get even worse before it improves in the global motorcycles market.
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More profit or more sales – eternal manufacturer conflict between North America and APAC
APAC dominates the global motorcycles market and it comprises nearly 4/5th of all new sales. Although China and India get all the eyeballs as the two largest markets, smaller countries such as Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Thailand are also critical. Four main factors ride the APAC motorcycle market to success – economic potential of this vast continent, government initiatives in rural areas encouraging infrastructure development, overcrowding of public transportation, and the inability of households to afford four-wheelers. The North America motorcycle market is more mature than APAC and is anticipated to demonstrate moderate growth. Customers in this highly profitable region seek innovative, eco-friendly options and have the disposable income to pay for it. Companies such as Ducati, Piaggio, BMW Motorrad, and Harley- Davidson would do well to focus on premium and ultra-premium offerings in North America to boost their bottom lines.
Motorcycles rev ahead of scooters in global motorcycles market
The worldwide motorcycle market can be broadly classified into motorcycles and scooters. The former can be further divided into cruiser, mopeds, electrics, and standard motorcycles, and scooters are of the electric, maxi, three-wheeled, enclosed, and standard type. Motorcycles are some distance ahead of scooters in terms of both sales and profitability for manufacturers. The use case of motorcycles differs dramatically according to region but the increasing focus on e-mobility is a global phenomenon in the motorcycles market. Global warming and excessive pollution have been highlighted extensively by media corporations and the automotive industry has borne the brunt of negative publicity, compelling them to invest in alternative mobility options. Emission norms will only get stricter in the years ahead and some countries have already declared their intent to either go all or partially electric in the next decade.
Global Motorcycle Market Players are: BMW, HONDA, Harley-Davidson, YAMAHA, SUZUKI, DUCATI, Kawasaki, KTM, PIAGGIO, APRILIA, Moto Guzz
Continual launches make motorcycle market very exciting for customers
The worldwide motorcycle market is marked by cutthroat competition with a ‘winner takes all’ approach. The global giants comprise Yamaha, Honda Motor Company, Suzuki Motor Corporation, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, and TVS Motor Company. To maintain customer mindshare, companies have to continually launch new products to maintain their competitive edge in the motorcycles market. In 2019, Suzuki unveiled its new Access 125 scooter with Suzuki Eco Performance technology – a novel concept that minimized fuel consumption while offering superior acceleration and performance. Not to be left behind, its rival Yamaha launched the YZF- R1 and YZF – R1M in Europe. The bike already adheres to Euro 5 emission norms and features advanced crossplane engines and electronically controlled suspensions for improved track performance.
- What is the market size and growth rate of the global and regional markets by various segments?
- What is the market size and growth rate of the market for selective countries?
- Which region or sub-segment is expected to drive the market during the forecast period?
- What factors are anticipated to impact demand and supply trends in the market during the forecast period?
- What factors are likely to drive market revenue growth during the forecast period?
- What are the key technology and other trends shaping the market?
- What are the key opportunities in the market?
- What are some of the strategies implemented by key companies operating in the market?
- What is the COVID-19 impact on the market?