Thailand. Piaggio shines in a market losing in September again


Thailand Motorcycles Market struggles. Following the 15.8% lost reported in the first half, in the third quarter the market reduced the lost, but after July and August even September was disappointing remaining in negative territory with 133.764 sales (-1.1%). Piaggio shines up over 20%.

Two-wheelers market in September

Following the 15.8% lost reported in the first half, in the third quarter the market reduced the lost, but after July and August even September was disappointing remaining in negative territory with 133.764 sales, down 1.1%.

In the first nine months 2020 sales have been 1.15 million, down 11.1%.

Looking at data grouped by categories, Scooter +50 lost -12,3% YTD, while Motorbike +50 are falling faster than the market (-33%).

Electric vehicles sales, instead, recorded a massive growth (+93,2%), affected  by Thai government action toward the development of a regional hub for this kind of vehicles.

For what concern the competitive landscape, year to date Honda is leading with 891.387 sales (-10.4%), followed by Yamaha with 178.806 units (-14.9%) and Piaggio with 21.336 units, up in double-digit.

In fourth place GPX with 10.503 units (-32.4%) followed by Kawasaki with 10.263 units (-9.5%) and Suzuki with 9.387 (-44,8%).

2020 Motorcycles Market trend & outlook

Following the moderate decline reported in the previous two years, the Thai motorcycles industry started the 2020 with a low tone, with Year to Date February sales at 284.148, down 3.0%.

While being on the right track, citizens response to the new coronavirus (Covid-19) was almost successful as the infection was contained and internal demand for motorcycles fell down within acceptable levels.

Sales of Motorcycles declined in March by 12.5% ending the first quarter with a volume of 431.004, down 6.8%. In April consumer demand was cold because of restrictions limiting individual movements and sales declined 34.5%, with year to date April sales at 508.209 units, down 12.8%.

In May sales have been 97.439 (-39.5%) and the effects on the economy related to the covid19 were clear. Thailand is an hub for the automotive industry with million of cars and motorcycles produced every year. Thus, the global demand block is creating troubles to the economy, reflected in lower level of consumptions.

In addition, shortage for parts and components have reduced the production capacity while the tourism sector, the second economic pilar on the country, is penalized by international travels bans.

In June registrations were 125.425, down 14%, closing the first-half at -15,8% with 732.000 units sold.

In the Q3 the  market moderated the lost, while remaining in negative territory. In July sales at 137.184 (-5.1%) and in August at 143.776 (-0.8%).

However, the Thai car industry is struggling more than the two-wheeler.

Market Outlook 2020-2025

Demand for a more individual mobility and the increased offer of more performing electric scooter are positively affecting the recovery within our industry. 

In the Beyond Covid19 project, we are revising on monthly basis and sharing with our Clients the 2020-2025 motorcycles market outlook.

The September market figures were in line with our expectation and we have unchanged the market outlook, confirming a full year projection at 1.53 million, down 8.7%

harley-davidson 750 street

Global Production Hub

Thailand is a major motorcycle manufacturing base ranking in 5th place as regard to the production capacity (2 million), after China (23 million units), India (20 million), Indonesia (8 million) and Vietnam (3 million).

Thailand started the 1st motorcycle manufacturing in 1967 under the CKD system. 

At the beginning decade of 1990, Thailand promoted the investment of four-stroke engine motorcycle instead of the two-stroke one to reduce emission problem and the production boosted reaching a capacity of 1.75 million annual units. The sales of motorcycles followed the development of the country representing the first device of personal mobility.

In the following years, while introducing Free Trade Agreements (FTA) which caused the cancellation of industrial protection measure, the industry started to export and to evolve in line with the global demand, learning new technologies and adopting state of the art rules for safety and emissions.

Nowadays, there are 7 motorcycle manufacturers in Thailand with total capacity of production at 3 million units per year. They are Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, BMW, Triumph and Ducati. Most of them are located in the Central and East regions because they are clusters of manufacturer as well as near to the seaport for export those CBUs.