Thailand 2024. Motorcycles Market Starts The Year Losing 6.2%

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Lambretta-X300
Lambretta-X300

Thailand Motorcycles Market continues the disappointing trend. In the first five months of 2024, the number of new two-wheelers sold in Thailand has been 771,685 (-6.2%), with the EV segment protagonist of a strong acceleration.

 

Thailand Motorcycles Industry Trend and Perspectives

Following three years of consecutive growth, the Thai 2-wheelers industry, the sixth-largest worldwide, started the 2024 in low tone, reporting a disappointing first quarter, with sales declining into the double-digit, but partially recovering in May.

The market growth in the last three years was not sustained by an increase of national economy, which was below expectations and the slowest in the region. While many hopes were in place for a 2024 economic rebound, preliminary data is below expectations.

The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has reduced its 2024 growth forecast for Thailand’s economy to 2.2%–2.7%, down from the previous forecast of 2.8%–3.3% predicted in November 2023. The outlook for 2024 is weaker than previously projected due to dimmer export and public investment prospects.

In the first five months of the 2024, the number of new two-wheelers sold in Thailand has been 771,685 (-6.2%) with the EV segment showing a strong acceleration within the L1 segment (+80.1%), while the L3 segment surprisingly decelerated (-12.2%).

Looking at top manufacturer’s performance, Honda is still on top with sales in line with the industry (-4.7%) while the arch-rival Yamaha has lost 7.5%, and even the third, Piaggio, and the fourth, GPX, lost 23.1% and 41.0% respectively.

Behind them, new OEMs are emerging, like Lambretta (+17.3%), Lion (+1060.9%) and EM (+624.2%).

 

Honda Wave 125
Honda Wave 125
gpx-demon-gr200r-2022
GPX Demon GR200R

Global Production Hub

Thailand is a major motorcycle production area, ranking in fifth place in 2023 regarding the production capacity, after India (19.5 million units), China (15.3 million units), Indonesia (6.8 million units) and Vietnam (2.7 million units).

Thailand started its first motorcycle manufacturing in 1967 under the CKD system. At the beginning of the 1990s, Thailand promoted the investment in four-stroke engines instead of the two-stroke ones to reduce the 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 situated in the Central and Eastern regions of Thailand, as these areas form industrial clusters and are conveniently located near seaports, facilitating the export of completely built units (CBUs).