Japanese bike exports tick up, but maintain drop from ’12

Holding virtually steady from August, motorcycle exports from Japan’s Big Four motorcycle brands once again posted significant year-over-year declines with 33,364 exports for September 2013, according to the latest data from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).

Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha collectively exported 33,364 units in September, a better than 15-percent jump compared with 28,974 units for the previous month. Even so, exports were down 9,105 units compared with the same month of the previous year.

Broken down by displacement class, all categories experienced declines compared to the previous year. Compared to September 2012, the 50cc and under class was down 70.8 percent (2,440 fewer units exported). The 51 to 125cc class was down 47 percent (2,140 units), while 126 to 250cc dropped 31.7 percent (3,090 units) and the over 250cc class exported 5.8 percent fewer motorcycles (1,435 units).

By manufacturer, Suzuki and Kawasaki were strongest, with September 2013 exports 49.1 percent and 6.4 percent higher, respectively, for the month. Honda’s drop was once again most severe, exporting only 39.1 percent of the total motorcycles in September compared to a year ago. Yamaha’s year-over-year Japanese exports were down 4 percent.

Regionally, exports rose to Asia and the Middle East, while posting declines elsewhere across the globe. Exports to Europe declined by more than 12 percent, while those to Latin America and North America were down 27.2 and 28.6 percent, respectively. Exports to Africa fell most significantly, coming in at only 49.5 percent of the numbers exported to the continent in September 2012.

September 2013 motorcycle production figured showed that the 50cc and under class was down 5.1 percent, while 51 to 125cc dropped by 14.8 percent compared with 2012. The 126 to 250cc class was up 34 units, for a 0.4 percent increase over the previous year, while the over 250cc class was up by 5,561 units, or 21.2 percent.

Looking at the first half of fiscal 2013 (April-September 2013), Japanese motorcycle production was down across the board, in double digits below 125ccs to single digit declines for the larger-displacement categories.

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