Japanese bike exports to North America decrease

Production and export of 250cc and greater bikes were up for the month of February, according to the latest figures from the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. While worldwide exports were up for the Big Four, bike exports to North America were down.

Bike exports to the U.S. from the Big Four were down slightly, dropping 4.3 percent in February to less than 18,000. Exports to European countries grew significantly to pull up the average, increasing 35.8 percent over February 2011 to over 23,000 units in February 2012.

Honda was the big mover, increasing year-over-year bike sales by 176 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, pushing out more than 19,000 units. Kawasaki exports were up 3.6 percent to 10,819 in February 2012 compared to the same month in 2011.

Exports from Suzuki and Yamaha took a plunge, with Yamaha slipping to 13,539 units in February 2012, a change of 15.4 percent, and Suzuki dropping 30.6 percent year-over-year to about 12,800 units.

Bike production was relatively flat for 50-250cc bikes, but was up almost 9,000 units, or 23 percent, for motorcycles over 250cc compared to the same period of 2011.

Honda and Yamaha both increased production, by 66.2 percent and 14.5 percent respectively, with Honda producing more than 23,000 units in February 2012, and Yamaha producing 17,785 bikes for the month.

Suzuki and Kawasaki both slid in production, dropping 6.4 percent and 17.6 percent respectively, in February 2012 compared to the previous-year month. Suzuki produced 16,700 units and Kawi tallied up 8,768 bikes for the month.

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