Three of the Big Four Japanese motorcycle OEMs increased production in March, leading the four to a collective 13.5 percent increase over March 2013.
Suzuki was the lone OEM to report a production decrease, down 13.9 percent year-over-year to 14,813 units, according to the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association. Kawasaki reported the largest percentage increase in production, up 81.4 percent to 6,786 bikes. Yamaha followed with 22.6 percent growth to 19,677 motorcycles, and Honda reported a 20.1 percent jump to 16,112 units. In total, the four produced 57,388 bikes in March.
Production in all four motorcycle classes increased from March 2013. The 51-125cc category saw the biggest percentage improvement, up 32.9 percent to 2,280 units. The 126-250cc group rose 27.4 percent to 7,060 bikes, while the 50cc and under class grew 16.3 percent to 6,416 units. Production in the over 250cc category increased 10.1 percent to 41,632 motorcycles.
Exports grew 3.2 percent overall for the Big Four, with Kawasaki again leading with the largest percentage increase, up 10.6 percent to 4,987 units. Yamaha exported 17,806 motorcycles, up 9.8 percent over March 2013, while Honda increased exports 8.8 percent to 11,996 bikes. Suzuki saw another decrease in the export category, with 10,271 units exported, a decrease of 13.8 percent. The total value of motorcycles exported was $394 million, a 14.9 percent drop from the year-ago-month.
Exports to North America decreased 10.2 percent to 15,780 units, with the U.S. seeing a 14.1 percent drop to 13,553 bikes.