Thailand 2022. Honda Leads in Q1 Steady (+3.0%) Motorcycles Market

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Thailand Motorcycles Market is steady. In the first quarter sales were 449.893 (+3.0%) with March down 9.1%, after a good start of the year, projecting the market in a harsh second quarter.

Thailand Motorcycles Industry Trend and Perspectives

In the last decade the motorcycles market in Thailand declined by over half a million or 25% of volume, mainly for the shift of clients towards the 4 wheeler industry. As the pro capita income increased in the country, people searched more for a car (or a pick up) for status and wider functionalities.

The opportunity for our sector to recover is given by the resurging demand for individual mobility and by the electrification, which is showing high costly new cars and affordable two wheelers.

However, in the short term the market is not expected to post significant growth and a steady performance in 2022 would be considered acceptable.

In the first quarter sales were 449.893 (+3.0%) with March down 9.1%, after a good start of the year, projecting the market in a harsh second quarter, when manufacturers will struggle to find row materials, in particular those arriving from China.

In the competitive arena, the market leader was again Honda with 350.000 sales up 1.7%, followed by Yamaha with 67.080 (+3.6%) ans Piaggio with 10.291 (+24.4%).

Motorcycles Market Trend 2021

The motorcycles domestic market in Thailand is far from the highest level achieved over a decade ago and we see the decline of this sector strongly related with the growth of the car sector.

The increased purchased power allowed people to shift from the two up to the four wheels and the trend is apparently similar to those registered in other part of the World.

However, new environmental requirements would change the current demand. The loved pick up, for which Thailand is the global hub, have record CO2 emission and their conversion to electric will require time and will have product much higher, while electric motorcycles will not have a significant higher cost compared with similar ICE versions.

However, waiting for this next transaction, actually the market is still over 25% below the 2.1 million reported in the 2012.

Following the lowest peak in the last decade hit in the previous year, during the 2021 the motorcycles market recovered slowly with 2 and 3 wheeler sales at 1.58 million, up a mere 4.2%.

In the competitive arena, the market leader was again Honda with 1.2 million sales up 2.3%, far from the 1.5 million reached over a decade ago.

In second place there was Yamaha with 265.814 sales (+11.0%) ahead of the Italian Piaggio with 32.891 units (+17.3%).

In fourth place the local manufacturer GPX, booming +104.3% while the other Japanese, Suzuki and Kawasaki have lost in double digit and several other manufacturers are struggling, including BMW (-14.7%), HarleyDavidson -12.9%, Ducati -60.4%.

The electric segment is still in the enphancy, with only 4k sold, although the growth was a significant +142.4% representing the base for the expected exponential development. In this segment the leader is not Honda, but the local venture Deco.

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.