Thailand. Suzuki struggles in a market losing in double digit

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Thailand Motorcycles Market keeps struggling and in October new motorcycles sales have been 128.023, down 5.8% with total sales after ten months of the 2020 at 1.27 millions (-10.5%). Piaggio shines up over 20%.

Economic Environment

The economic panorama remained muted in Q3, following the heavy pandemic-induced contraction clocked in Q2. Private consumption fell in monthly terms in August, after growth slowed in July from May–June’s rebound.

Furthermore, manufacturing output growth slowed in August, while the PMI for the sector remained in contractionary territory throughout July–September. More positively, however, exports boosted higher in July–August compared with the Q2 average, indicating firming external dynamics. In political news, the prime minister declared a state of emergency on 15 October in an attempt to crack down on burgeoning pro-democracy protests.

Regardless, crowds have ignored the ban and continued their calls for constitutional reform and greater democratic freedoms. Amid the turmoil, the government’s FY 2021 mildly expansionary budget was approved by the Senate on 21 September.

Two-wheelers market in October

Following the 15.8% lost reported in the first half, in the third quarter the market reduced the lost losing a moderate 1.1% from the correspondent period last year.

However, in October the economy struggled due to riots and protest aginst the actual regime, while covid 19 does not yet gave rest to the population. Consequently the motorcycles industry, one of the key industrial sector in the country, was again in negative territory.

Indeed, October new motorcycles sales have been 128.023, down 5.8% with total sales after ten months of the 2020 at 1.27 millions (-10.5%).

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%), pushed up by government actions 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 990.560 sales (-10.0%), followed by Yamaha with 199.764 units (-14.1%) and Piaggio with 23.667 units, up in double-digit.

In fourth place GPX with 11.812 units (-30.3%) followed by Kawasaki with 11.161 units (-9.3%) and Suzuki with 11.065 (-41.1%).

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.