KYMCO grows global presence

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan — Powersports manufacturer Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd., (KYMCO) foresees a 5 percent rise in revenue this year and plans to increase emphasis on larger displacement vehicles.
KYMCO plans revenue of $722 million and sales of 578,000 units in 2006, up from revenue of $680 million and sales of 552,000 units in 2005. KYMCO President Son-Chien Wang said the company’s 2006 sales plan is to retail approximately 293,500 units in Taiwan and 285,000 units in the 74 countries in which KYMCO-brand ATVs, motorcycles and scooters are sold. In 2005, KYMCO sold 276,000 units domestically and exported 249,000 units.
KYMCO, fellow Taiwanese manufacturer Sang Yang Motor (SYM), and Japan-based Yamaha Motor Co. are the three leading powersports suppliers in Taiwan. KYMCO claims to lead the nation’s scooter sales with a 34.3 percent share of the market, compared to SYM’s 29.1 percent and Yamaha’s 30.9 percent.
Powersports Business recently visited KYMCO’s headquarters in Kaohsiung, met with Wang and his management team, and toured the production and research and development facilities.
KYMCO began its operations in 1963 as a bicycle manufacturer, served as a decade-long supplier to Japan’s Honda Motor Co., built its 500,000th two-wheeler in 1978 and built 2 million accumulated units in 1988. The company began the KYMCO brand for international business in 1992 and reached 6 million accumulated units in 1998.
Today, KYMCO’s product line-up consists of 36 scooters, 18 motorcycles, 10 ATV models, more than a dozen engines and 10 mobility scooters (a market Honda also recently entered). Wang said the company plans to produce 612,400 units this year.
KYMCO’s operations in Taiwan are self-sufficient. The company’s current facilities span 165,700 sq. meters and consist of three manufacturing operations and a wastewater treatment plant, an R&D center, test course, spare parts facility, corporate office building and warehouse in Taipei.
The company also operates six foreign factories — Hao Lam KYMCO in Vietnam, PT KYMCO Lippo Motor Co. Ltd. in Indonesia, and, in China, Changzhou Kwang Yang Precise Co. Ltd., Changzhou Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd., Hunan Kwang Yang Precise Co. Ltd. and Hunan Kinlon Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd.
As with most powersports vehicle suppliers from Southeast Asia KYMCO built its foundation on small displacement units, first scooters and motorcycles, then ATVs.
Still, according to Wang, KYMCO’s plan is to continue to develop larger displacement vehicles. He said KYMCO has spent $219.4 million on research and development during the past five years — $43.9 million, or 6.45 percent of revenue, alone in 2005 — and points to the soon-to-be-expected Xciting 500 scooter and larger displacement ATVs as examples of the company’s path. psb

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