Motorcycle output falls in H1, exports increase 2.94%
Thailand's motorcycle industry is being hit by the ongoing global semiconductor shortage, which caused production to fall by 1.26% year-on-year to 1.24 million units during the first half of 2022, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
New registrations of motorcycles in the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) segment also plunged by 83.4% year-on-year to 191 units in the first six months, although Thailand's overall number of new EV registrants, including cars and motorcycles, increased during the same period.
"The chip scarcity is a major challenge to Thailand, a hub of the big bike market in Asean and a major motorcycle production base," said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman and spokesman for the FTI's automotive club.
From January to June, motorcycle production in the completely built unit (CBU) category declined by 7% year-on-year to 934,455 units, and manufacturing in the completely knocked-down (CKD) category fell by 21.5% year-on-year to 310,885 units, according to the club's recent survey.
CKD refers to motorcycle parts which are assembled in the countries that import them.
The Industry Ministry is aware of the semiconductor shortage but remains hopeful of an improved situation. It said last month that it expected the problem would only affect the automotive industry in the short term.
Despite a drop in production, motorcycle exports continued to grow during the first half of this year.
The number of exported motorcycles, both in CBU and CKD categories, increased by 2.94% year-on-year to 501,453 units. The export value stood at 33.9 billion baht, or an increase of 18.5% year-on-year.
But in June alone the export value was recorded at 5.5 billion baht, or a decrease of 25.5% year-on-year, the club said.
Domestic motorcycle sales during the first six months also rose by 3.9% year-on-year to 906,625 units.
In the EV segment, all newly registered EVs, including cars and motorcycles, in the battery EV category skyrocketed by 169.4% year-on-year to 7,325 units during the first six months, said Mr Surapong.
New registrations of cars and motorcycles in the HEV category soared by 53.7% year-on-year to 32,718 units in the first half of the year.
All new registrants, including cars and motorcycles, in the plug-in hybrid EV category also increased by 55.8% to 5,947 units during the same period.