South Korea Motorcycles market sharply declined last year. Full year 2023 sales have been 130.241 (-33.9%) losing most of the terrain gained in the previous two years. Honda is market leader.
Motorcycles Market Trend
The South Korean motorcycles market is finally growing up after years of declines, fueled by strong growth reported by imported OEMs and by the growth of the domestic electric segment.
The market really boomed in 2021-2022 jumping over the 0.2 million annual sales for the first time, while in 2023 the was sharply back.
Indeed, full year 2023 sales have been 130.241 (-33.9%) losing most of the terrain gained in the previous two years.
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. In 2023 the Electric segment reported a 7.1% increase.
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.
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.