Japanese bike exports to U.S. up 12% in March

Motorcycle exports to the U.S. from Japan’s Big Four were up 12.2 percent in March compared to the previous year, and 20 percent worldwide compared to March 2011, according to the latest figures from the Japanese automotive group JAMA.

Exports to the U.S. from JAMA members Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha decreased 4.3 percent in February compared to strong February in 2011. Exports in March of 2011 were up more than 200 percent compared to March 2010, and they continued to rise. JAMA members exported 16,021 units to the U.S., an increase of 1,748 bikes compared to March of 2011.

For the fiscal year, that helped bring total exports from the Big Four to 493,143 units, an increase of 5.5 percent compared to fiscal 2010. To the U.S., exports were up more by more than 43,000, or 35 percent, compared to the 2010 fiscal year.

Exports to Europe, Africa and Oceania were down comparatively, with exports to Europe slipping 12.3 percent for the fiscal year.

Production for the Big Four during March was up substantially over 2011, with the Japanese manufacturers adding 25,192 units, 66.6 percent more, in March 2012. The large increase in production for March may be an effect of the tsunami experienced in Japan on March 11, 2011.

Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha all increased production in March 2012, but Kawasaki was down, 12.5 percent or 732 units. Honda saw the biggest gains, jumping 150.1 percent in 2012 to 22,158 units, with Yamaha falling into second at 20,771 units, an increase of 113.7 percent compared to March 2011.

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