Thailand 2021. Q3 Motorcycles Sales Hit By Covid19 Emergency


Thailand Motorcycles Market was in heavy difficulties in the third quarter 2021. Year to Date September sales have been 1.2 million, up a mere 5.1% vs the 2020 and down 6.1% vs the 2019. Deep lost have been reported for Suzuki, BMW, Royal Enfield, Kawasaki, Peugeot and Ducati.

Motorcycles Market Trend 2021

The recovery in place during the first half has been stopped by the effects of new emergency actions taken in the last month by the government to control the effects of covid19, resulting in lower production and lower sales.

So, following a first quarter sales at 436.890 (+1.4% vs the 2020 and -2.8% vs the 2019) and a the first half ended with total sales at 874.960, up 19.4% vs the 2020 and 0.7% vs the 2019, the market decelerated in each of the third quarter month, losing respectively 15.6%, 27.2% and 17.5% in July, August, September.

Consequently, the Year to Date September sales have been 1.2 million, up a mere 5.1% vs the 2020 and down 6.1% vs the 2019.

However, as you can observe from these figures, the Thai market was the most resilient to covid19 during the 2019 and actual sales volumes are not far from the highest level ever, with expectations almost positive for the next 2-3 years.

In the competitive arena, the market leader is again Honda with sales up 4.1% and is followed by Yamaha (+8.9%) and the local manufacturer GPX, booming this year (+129.5%) and overtaking Piaggio (+12.9%).

Thanks to the introduction of new EVs models, some local brand are escalating the ranking, like Deco (+99.9%), Scomadi (+136.5%). All premium brands are reporting lost: BMW is down 22.9%, HarleyDavidson 15.4%, Ducati 64.6%, Kawasaki 36.8%.

In 2020 the two-wheeler market lost 9.7%

The two-wheeler is the primary individual mobility industry in Thailand and one of the largest domestic manufacturing industry, considering the localization of several plants, based in the country to feed all ASEAN demand.

This market is the 6th largest world-wide albeit having lost volume in the 2020, when sales declined 9.7%.

The pandemic impact was lower than for other top countries with sales declined only 15.8% in the first half of the year, while the recovery was shy and following a Q3 up a mere 1.1%, in the Q4 sales declined again 5%, ending the year with 1.5 million sales (-9.7%) and with a short term outlook negative.

The category under more pressure is the motorbikes (-31%) while underbone/scooter segments were more resilient. In general the entry level of each category suffered less than the others.

Electric vehicles reported a massive growth (+93,2%), pushed up by government actions toward the development of a regional hub for this kind of vehicles and by the launch of several new models offered by local and Chinese brands.

Looking at the competitive landscape, as usual the market is dominated by Honda which in the 2020 sold 1.18 million two-wheeler (-9.7%) with not real competition from other traditional manufacturers.

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.