Exports from the Big Four Japanese manufacturers were down 13.5 percent in June compared to 2011, leading to a second month of declining bike exports according to a report from the Japanese automotive group JAMA.
Despite two months of slowing exports, the year has been an improvement over 2011. In the first half, exports grew 4.8 percent for the Big Four, with Honda increasing its exports by 68.2 percent through the end of June and Yamaha by 9.6 percent. Suzuki and Kawasaki both saw exports slip, however, with Suzuki down 29.7 percent compared to the first half of 2011 and Kawasaki down 9.9 percent over that same period.
The 51-125cc market was the only one to decrease its exports in the first half of 2012 compared to the previous year, down slightly over 12 percent.
In June, however, 126-250c bikes were the only segment to see growth. Exports of bikes under 125cc were down 50 percent in the month and those over 250cc were down 14.5 percent. The drops were driven by large decreases in exports for Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki.
Bike production for the first six months of the year was up for segments 125cc and greater, climbing double digits in the over 250cc segment as well as for Honda and Yamaha.
However, in June alone, production for all bike segments were down by 24 percent for the group, with Honda experiencing a 34 percent drop in production and Suzuki down 20.5 percent. Yamaha and Kawasaki were both down nearly 20 percent. The over-250cc segment experienced the smallest drop in production, down 14 percent compared to last year.