Thai Honda downgrades sales target

Thai Honda downgrades sales target

Mr Kimura, centre left, and members of Thai Honda's management team at a launch for the CL series in Bangkok.
Mr Kimura, centre left, and members of Thai Honda's management team at a launch for the CL series in Bangkok.

While the upcoming general election is expected to bring about an increase in motorcycle purchases, the Thai market is still affected by inflation which has caused the domestic sales target to be revised down to 1.75 million units this year, says Thai Honda Co.

The election could help grow the motorcycle market by 5-10%, similar to the rates recorded during previous elections, said Wiwat Lertpati, chief sales and marketing officer at Thai Honda, a manufacturer and distributor of Honda motorcycles.

"Usually an election brings good sentiment to people as they have fresh hopes for a better economy," he said.

However, taking a look at the motorcycle market for the whole year, Thai Honda believes total sales in the country would fall below the 1.8 million units recorded in 2022.

"The company revised down the target because people's purchasing power remains weak," said Mr Wiwat.

Shigeto Kimura, president of Thai Honda, views high inflation as being a major factor putting pressure on motorcycle sales.

Thai Honda has set a sales target of 1.38 million units for the company, which is the same volume it recorded last year.

Thai Honda saw its motorcycle sales increase by 12% last year to 1.38 million units.

The company is dealing with the prolonged global semiconductor shortage by purchasing the products from many suppliers rather than a single seller.

"The chip situation in 2023 is expected to get better than over the past few years. We are confident of coping with the situation and ensuring smooth motorcycle deliveries," said Mr Kimura.

The company will attract prospective customers this year with newly launched motorcycles in the automatic (AT) and big bike categories.

Thai Honda expects Thailand's big bike segment to grow by 10% to 18,000 units this year, with sales of Honda big bikes expected to reach 8,000-8,200 units. The increase is attributed to the tourism recovery and riders' adventurous lifestyles.

The company is also planning to increase the number of charging stations for electric motorcycles to 100 this year.

"The Thai electric car industry continues to grow, thanks to the government's policy to support the industry," said Mr Kimura.

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