Taiwan 2021. SYM shines and Gogoro struggles in a Q1 Market up 13%


Taiwan Motorcycles Industry kept in the first quarter 2021 the rolling trend and projects the new record year. First quarter sales have been 226.911 (+13.0% vs the 2020 and -2.5% vs the 2019), in line with our expectations. SYM still shining, Gogoro still struggling.

Motorcycles Market Trend 2021

The Taiwanese motorcycles market started the 2021 keeping the rolling pace started in the second half last year, after the strong incentives introduced by the governments to sustain the economy.

Demand for two wheeler is the second highest ever and this quarter reported the record volume all time, projecting the entire year for the first time above the 1 million units milestone.

Indeed, first quarter sales have been 226.911 (+13.0% vs the 2020 and -2.5% vs the 2019), in line with our expectations.

Market leader is again Kymco with 77.217 sales (+3.4%) followed by SYM with 65.704 (+19.1%) and Yamaha with 50.741 (+55.6%).

Gogoro kept struggling losing 25%. The e-v specialist just announced a partnership with the Indian Hero Motor, probably aiming to revamp a negative trend, almost surprising for a start up.

In 2020 SYM rocketed in the best market out of last five years

Following an almost negative first part of the year, the government introduced incentives to stimulate the economy and – among other industries – the motorcycles industry had been pushed up the demand in the third quarter, allowing the industry to partially recover the first half lost.

In the fourth quarter demand for new motorcycles was really huge and the market performed above any expectations, scoring a increase of 39% from the correspondent period in the previous year.

Thus, the final annual balance was at 943.303 sales was even better then the 2019, improving 3.3% scoring the best out of last five years.

Looking at the performance by brand, the market leader Kymco records 336.211 sales  (+0.6%), followed by SYM with 289.166, up an amazing 51.4, jumping at the global new all time record.

The third place was taken by Yamaha with 185.574 (+0.4%) ahead of GOGORO with 82.096 and a spectacular 43.6% fall.

Behind, PGO with 24.388 (-14.1%) and Suzuki with 14.471 (+69.8%).

Yamaha EC-05

Electric Motorcycles Subsidy Plan

The Environmental Protection Agency ’s (EPA) draft electric vehicle subsidy changed  the subsidies policy for both cars and motorcycles, reducing new purchases by 6.000 yuan (US$850).

From next year, new electric motorcycles/scooter subsidies will be reduced from 10.000 yuan (US€1.427) to 7.000 yuan (US$1.000) with a further reduction at 5.000 yuan in the 2021. This plan assumes that the strong incentives provided so far already helped the manufacturers to create scale economy in the production.

Indeed, the incentive provided so far helped the boom of local start-up Gogoro and incentivized the other players develop a their own electric scooter lineup, with this segment already up a significant share of market, the highest in the World.

Taiwanese Market Heritage

Taiwan is the home-base for well-known global motorcycles companies, like Kymco and Sym and is one of the major motorcycles and scooter producer in the World. However, the domestic market is even one of the Top 10 largest worldwide and the motorcycles are a key device for individual mobility.

The development of the market started already in the ’80 of last century, but the key factor for the industry development was the joining of WTO agreement in the 2002, which pushed the industry to improve standards to match requirements of European and American markets and to allow at the local producer to defend their domestic positions against the arriving importers.

Indeed, an almost favorable legislation has limited the distribution of large size motorcycles. So far, the market is dominated by local producers, with Yamaha and Suzuki producing in the country.

Interesting to note as the global leader, Honda, is not producing locally limiting their activity to the distribution of large motorcycles. Indeed, Honda had begun local production of small-sized motorcycles in 1961, mainly 125 cc-class models, in the form of a technology licensing agreement with a local company (under a technical collaboration agreement) and continued until 2003, when has closed operations.