South Korea 2023. Motorcycles Market Is Recovering in Q3 Following An Harsh H1


South Korea Motorcycles Industry is struggling this year. However, in the Q3 the market is recovering, with July up 10.1% and August 12.1%, with Year to Date figures at 95.647 (-8.1%), projecting the entire year in a moderate decline.

Motorcycles Market Trend

The South Korean motorcycles market is finally growing up after years of declines.

Already in the previous 5 years sales grew up, but in 2022 the market accelerated with sales at 144.979 (+14.9%), the best in over 15 years.

Probably the growth was too fast and the consequence is a low demand in 2023.

Indeed, this year the market is struggling and in the first sixth month sales have been 64.800 (-15.1%).

In the Q3 the market is recovering, with July up 10.1% and August 12.1%, with Year to Date figures at 95.647 (-8.1%), projecting the entire year in a moderate decline.

The key driver for market trend is the government hard push to move the automotive industry towards electrification, with substantial incentives available for electric vehicles, including the 2-wheelers. This year the Electric segment is growing 24.5%.

Looking at the competitive arena, Honda is the market leader, although fell down 11.5%. In second place the rival Yamaha (-6.4%) followed by the local manufacturer Daelim (-29.6%).


Korean Market heritage and evolution

The South Korean motorcycles market is relatively small and the two wheelers are not a primary mobility device in the country, with annual sales counting only 5% of the powerful automotive industry.

The presence of the huge Hyundai Group one of the reason which focused consumers attentions more on the four than on the two wheeler across the years and nowadays roads are full of cars with only few motorcycles compared with all the other top industrial countries in the World.

Korean motorcycles market grew up in the last years of last century mainly driven by the demand for food service providers or courier services for livelihood rather than daily transportation or leisure demand.

The size of the domestic motorcycle market exceeded 300,000 units and was dominated by Kia, before filing for the IMF bailout. After Kia stopped to produce these vehicles the market started a long decline decreasing to about 100,000 units in 2010 and then stabilizing around this level.

South Korea motorcycles

Kick-scooter boom in Seoul

As in many other metropolitan areas around the World, even the Korean capital recently has been invaded by so called “e-scooter”, which must not be confused with the e-scooter. They are the kick-scooter with a max speed of 25 km per hour, without a plate and with limited circulating rules.

Kick-scooters have taken over Seoul. Starting from Gangnam station and branching out, you will see more and more E-Scooters on the streets. They have been popping up over the past few years. Companies like Beam, Lime, Xing Xing, and Kickgoing have placed their e-scooters near over 100 subway stations in Seoul. It is estimated that 17 companies are operating over 40,000 e-scooters in Seoul.

However, opinions are divided amongst the citizens of Seoul as to whether these e-scooters are good for the community. There have been many complaints from homeowners, pedestrians, and drivers in Korea. In mid 2020, Government have introduced a new regulation for these devices, now considered similar to bicycles, allowing their riding to people over 13 age.


South Korea motorcycles
Daelin Zappy