Exports and production from the Big 4 were up by 5 and 12 percent respectively for the largest bike class in the first half of 2012, but slowing production in the spring and fourth quarter led to bike exports from the JAMA dropping 5 percent year-over-year for the whole year.
Slowing exports and production carried into the final month of the year, with exports for the Japanese manufacturing group down
21 percent during December for the average of all classes, and 14 percent year-over-year for 250cc and larger bikes.
Smaller classes fared worse, with exports of sub-51cc bikes down to one-third of the previous year and 51-125cc bikes down by half.
For the calendar year exports were down 5 percent, with Kawasaki down 31 percent in 2012 and Suzuki down 18 percent for the year. Yamaha noticed little change, down only 2.2 percent during 2012.
Honda was the sole manufacturer to increase exports during 2012, up by 27.2 percent and edging out Yamaha for unit exports at 155,000 in 2012.
Production during December and for the whole of 2012 was down as well, again despite strong production in the first quarter and first half.
Year-over-year, December production was down by 20 percent for the average of all classes, and production was halved for 51-125cc bikes. For other classes, production was down 18 percent (+/-2 percent) among the largest and smallest bike classes.
Trends for the calendar year were still down despite the strong first half showing. After a 5 percent increase in production for the first two quarters, production was down for the year by 7 percent for the average of all classes, mostly in the smaller classes. For bikes over 250cc, production was down in the second half, but still managed to post a positive year, with production up 2.2 percent among that group.
Honda and Yamaha were both flat for the year on production, with Honda up less than one percent and Yamaha up slightly less than 2 percent.
Suzuki and Kawi both were down, with Suzuki bike production down 6.7 percent for the year and production for Kawasaki down by one-third.