The international two-wheeler industry appears to be healthy in wake of first quarter 2007 sales, production and export reports.
Numbers are generally up in Brazil, India, Japan and the United Kingdom, with only Italy showing a slight sales decrease for the beginning of the year.
The four largest motorcycle manufacturers in Japan boosted production and exports slightly in the first quarter of 2007 compared to the 2006 first quarter. Output was up 0.1 percent, while shipments overseas were up 5 percent for January to March 2007 from the same period a year ago.
Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha produced 477,295 units in the first quarter, according to the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Three manufacturers increased production while one cut output: Kawasaki produced 76,182 units in the first quarter 2007, up 9 percent from Q1 2006; Yamaha produced 130,451 units, slightly above last year’s numbers; Suzuki produced 140,277 units, also up slightly last year; and Honda produced 130,307 units, down 5 percent.
The four manufacturers exported 383,668 units from Japan from January to March 2007, up nearly 6 percent from the same period in 2006.
Exports to the United States totaled 155,573 units, up 14 percent from the 2006 first quarter. Exports to Canada dropped from 18,317 units, a decrease of 3.5 percent.
Three manufacturers increased their exports while one cut shipments. Suzuki exported 122,562 units globally in the first quarter of 2007, up 18 percent from Q1 2006; Kawasaki exported 73,023 units, up 5 percent; Yamaha exported 110,403 units, up nearly 3 percent; and Honda exported 77,680 units, down 4.6 percent.
JAMA reported the total value of motorcycles exported from Japan in the first quarter of 2007 was $2.44 billion – $2.08 billion for vehicles and $358 million for parts – up $137.03 million or 5.9 percent compared to January through March 2006.
U.K. Sales Grow
Powersports dealers in the United Kingdom sold 31,386 motorized two-wheelers during the first three months of 2007, up 11 percent compared to the same period in 2006.
The Motor Cycle Industry Association Ltd. (MCI) represents the interests of the supply side of the U.K.’s motorcycle industry and collected the production figures for the nation. The MCI said dealers sold 26,317 motorcycles and scooters with engines more than 50cc in size and 5,069 mopeds, or two-wheelers with engines of 50cc or smaller.
In the motorcycle and scooter category, the supersport segment again leads the pack, with 6,252 units sold this year in the first quarter. Scooters follow with 4,545 units, then naked, 4,367 units; adventure sport/supermoto, 2,895 units; custom, 2,363 units; sport touring 2,363 units; trail/enduro, 2,208 units; and touring with 803 units.
The 10 best-selling two-wheelers in the United Kingdom during the first quarter of 2007 were the Yamaha YZF R6 with 763 units; Suzuki GSX-R 1000, 704 units; Honda CBR 1000 RR, 665 units; Yamaha YZF R1, 577 units; Suzuki GSX-R 750, 488 units; Suzuki GSX-R 600, 405 units; Honda CBR 600 RR, 366 units; Honda CBF 1000, 298 units; Triumph Tiger 1050, 297 units; and Yamaha YBR 125, 295 units.
Low Displacement Bikes Buoy Italy
Italy’s motorcycle industry association, Confindustria ANCMA, said 196,126 two-wheeled motor vehicles were sold in Italy during the first four months of 2007, down almost 2 percent from sales during the same period in 2006.
ANCMA said 154,984 two-wheelers with engines larger than 50cc were sold in Italy during the first four months of the year, down 4.4 percent from 162,162 units sold from January through April 2006. Motorcycle sales during the recent four-month period totaled 61,761 units, which was down 3.2 percent; scooter sales totaled 93,223 units, down 5.2 percent.
Sales of two-wheelers with engines that are under 50cc totaled 41,142 units, a gain of nearly 9 percent.
Brazil's Explosive Growth
Five manufacturers sold 529,820 motorcycles in Brazil during the first four months of 2007, up 31.3 percent from 403,402 units sold during the same period in 2006, the Brazilian Association of the Manufacturers of Motorcycles, Mopeds, Motonetas, Bicycles and Similars (ABRACICLO) reported.
Honda has been the top seller this year in Brazil, with 434,992 units sold. It is followed by Yamaha, with 67,442 units; Sundown with 24,934 units; Kasinski with 1,852 units and Harley-Davidson with 600 units.
The organization said the five manufacturers produced 578,599 units during the four months from January through April, up 27.3 percent in comparison to the same four-month period in 2006.
India Reports Growth
From April 2006 to March 2007, two-wheelers held 77 percent of the country’s personal transportation market, with passenger vehicles coming in a distant second at 14 percent, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIMA) reported.
The Indian fiscal year wrapped up March 31 and SIMA growth for production, domestic sales and exports.
Two-wheeler production grew 11 percent for 2006-2007 to 8.4 million units, up from 7.6 million units in 2005-2006. Motorcycles made up the bulk of the growth, up 114.6 percent with 7.1 million units produced in the most recent fiscal year compared to 6.2 the previous period. Scooter production, on the other hand, dropped 7.5 percent.
Domestic two-wheeler sales grew across the board and were up 11.4 percent during the 2006-2007 fiscal year to 7.8 million units during 2005-2006.
India saw a 20 percent growth in exports during the most recent fiscal year. Although scooter (57 percent) and moped (13 percent) exports were down, a 41 percent increase in motorcycles offset the downturn. The country exported 545,887 motorcycles during the 2006-2007 fiscal year compared to 386,054 bikes in 2005-2006, a 159,833 unit increase.
Copyright 2007 Powersports Business