Honda expects slow drive of motocycle sales again

Honda expects slow drive of motocycle sales again

Potential buyers take a look at a Honda CBR at the Thailand International Motor Expo 2019 at Impact Muang Thong Thani in December last year. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Potential buyers take a look at a Honda CBR at the Thailand International Motor Expo 2019 at Impact Muang Thong Thani in December last year. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

AP Honda, the local distributor arm of Japanese motorcycles, expects Thailand's motorcycle market to drop 2.3% in 2020 to 1.7 million units, citing unfavourable risks in bearish GDP growth and low crop pricing.

Honda expects sales to decline slightly by 1.5% to 1.35 million units in 2020 in line with the bearish market.

It aims to maintain the largest market share for 32 years in a row.

President Shigeto Kimura said the market contraction in 2020 is passed on from a year before and AP Honda has yet to witness other positive factors to boost up the local motorcycle market.

"Thai economy and agriculture sector are unfavourable. Thai farmers have less incomes from lower crop prices with an expectation to suffer more on the current drought situation," he said.

"The coronavirus outbreak is pressuring the country's tourism sector which is the key engine of Thai GDP."   

Mr Kimura added the motorcycle market in 2019 totalled at 1.74 million units, down by 3% from 2018.

Honda posted 1.37 million motorcycles sold, decreasing by 2% year-on-year.

With this sales, Honda controlled the market share of 78.7%, marking the largest sales for 31 consecutive years.

"Honda was satisfied with the 2019 motorcycle sales which were better than overall market," said Mr Kimura.

He added AP Honda is moving to develop electric motorcycles by collaborating with King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi to develop a ride sharing system.

"Student and academic staff can share Honda PCX Electric through mobile app and AP Honda provides a charging station at the university," said Mr Kimura.

"In 2020, AP Honda aims a development of battery swapping function, which is very significant for the ride sharing platform."

Mr Kimura said the PCX Electric will not be on a commercial sale in Thailand because retail price tags remain unaffordable while the government hes yet to provide a price subsidy for electric motorcycles.


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