Economic turmoil in the EU resulted in lower demand for motorcycles in March, causing exports from Japan’s Big Four to drop almost 20 percent year-over-year during the month, according to the latest figures from the Japanese automotive group.
A 20 percent drop in exports and production in March continued on a flat and declining trend that began in May of 2012.
In 2013, exports to the U.S. have been steady with 2012, with Canada increasing orders 12 percent over the first quarter of 2013. Comparatively, exports to the EU during the first quarter are down to one-third compared to 2012.
Production has also been slumping since 2012, as well. In March, production from the big four dropped 20 percent year-over-year for the 5th straight month, leading to a decline in production of 21 percent for the first quarter.
By manufacturer, Suzuki increased production by 5 percent during the first quarter as Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki dropped 36 percent, 15 percent and 39 percent, respectively.
During the past twelve months, production in Japan has dropped across the big four, with Suzuki and Yamaha down 3-4 percent, and Honda and Kawasaki down 16 and 39 percent, respectively.