New motorcycle models are displayed at a motor show. [PATIPAT JANTHONG]
Thailand`s motorcycle market is expected to remain flat for the remainder of 2018, projected at 1.8 million units sold this year, a contraction of 0.5-1%, says a local unit of the Japanese motorcycle maker, Thai Yamaha Motor Co.
For the first nine months this year the market dropped by 1.6% to 1.365 million motorcycles sold, reported the Land Transport Department.
By segment, sales of mopeds rose by 1.7% to 700,000 units from January to September, while automatic bikes increased slightly 0.6% to 480,000 units sold.
Sport motorcycles recorded sales of 185,000 units, a 15% drop for the period, and sales of big bikes (over 400cc) rose 0.1% to 24,000 units.
Jintana Udomsub, chief operating officer of Thai Yamaha, said the overall market has not performed as well as Yamaha projected in early 2017.
"The sales contraction was mainly in the southern region, and we saw registered motorcycles in that region drop roughly 10% in the first nine months," she said. Ms Jintana attributed the dip in sales to the lower price of rubber, pressuring people`s purchasing power.
"In other regions, the motorcycle market also fell slightly, leaving only Bangkok and Greater Bangkok tallying sales increases," she said.
Assuming economic growth of 3.6-4.6%, Yamaha forecast earlier the motorcycle market would grow by 4% to 1.88 million units sold this year.
The overall Thai economy has performed very well this year, with the car market recording double-digit gains every single month with the boom in tourism and exports, Ms Jintana said.
"But the motorcycle market always depends on the agriculture sector," she said.
Yamaha sold 206,000 motorcycles in the first nine months, unchanged from the same period last year. But it said market share rose 0.2 percentage points to 15.1%.
Ms Jintana said Yamaha`s performance was in line with the overall market.
Yamaha recorded sales of 126,000 automatic bikes from January to September, up 3.6%, while moped sales tallied 41,000 units, a 17% increase.
Sales of sport motorcycles dipped sharply by 20% to 40,000 units sold, and of those 1,850 were big bikes, a 18% rise.
Ms Jintana said Yamaha cut its 2018 sales target from 305,000 units in August to below 300,000 units, but the new target retains a growth level of 11%.
Yamaha expects its Thai market share to increase 0.9 percentage points to 15.7%.
The brand ranks second after Japanese rival Honda, which owns more than 75% of the local market.
By Bangkok Post(Published: 12/10/2018) https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1556586/yamaha-cuts-motorcycle-view
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