Exports from Japan's Big Four inched slightly year-over-year in August after a three-month slide, according to the latest report from the Japanese Automotive Manufacturers Association. Production continued to stumble for a fourth straight month, but numbers were improving.
Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha increased exports by double digits compared to the same period of 2011 for bikes over 250cc. Honda had the biggest increase, jumping 80 percent during the month compared to 2011. For all classes, each Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha increased exports by 15 percent during August compared to the previous year.
Kawi exports dropped, in contrast, slipping almost 55 percent during the month compared to the same period of 2011. 126-250cc class bike exports were down 70 percent for the manufacturer and 250cc and greater bike exports were down by 54 percent.
Year-to-date, exports are still roughly even with the previous year. Over 250cc bike exports are up by 3.7 percent against a drop by 5.5 percent in 51-125cc and 4 percent in 126-250cc bikes.
Production of smaller bike classes slowed in August, bringing overall production for all JAMA manufacturers down 5.6 percent despite a solid increase in production of bikes 250cc and greater for the first months since March. This was the fourth straight month of declining production among the group.
Kawasaki production numbers were down alongside production. For all classes, production was down 59.5 percent and 42.5 percent for bikes over 250cc. Suzuki production was down 12.4 percent for all classes, 32.5 percent for 250cc and greater bikes, compared to 2011, despite doubling production of 126-250cc bikes to 3,225 units.
Honda production was up by 30.3 percent during the month compared to the previous year, with an 88 percent increase in production of bikes over 250cc (11,435 units). Production for Yamaha was relatively flat compared to the previous year at 11,442 units.