Motorcycle exports from the Big Four were down in May year-over-year following six consecutive months of growth, according to the latest report from the Japanese automotive group JAMA.
Suzuki suffered the biggest drop, falling 37.4 percent to just below 6,900 units in May 2012, and exporting a little more than half of the bikes over 126cc than it did in May 2011. Yamaha fell 6 percent and Kawasaki fell 2.7 percent, while Honda managed to increase exports 3 percent this year in May, compared to May 2011. Combined, the Big Four slipped 13.5 percent in the month.
Honda showed strong gains in the 50cc-and-under segment, but all of the manufacturers struggled to increase exports of bikes over 250cc.
Exports to North American and the U.S. were down by 19.1 percent and 22.3 percent, respectively. The E.U. and the rest of Europe were also down by 12.1 and 13.4 percent.
Production was down by three of the manufacturers, with Suzuki continuing to be hit hard and dropping production 43.6 percent in May compared to May 2011. Kawasaki production was down 33.6 percent. In contrast, Yamaha increased production during the month by 29.2 percent, producing 12,151 units in May.
Production surged in March, recovering from the tsunami that hit Japan and hurt production in 2011, before struggling in April. In May, total production for the group was down, slipping 22 percent from more than 53,000 units in May 2011 to 41,300 in May 2012. Production of bikes 50cc and under dropped 47.9 percent to less than 7,200 units.