Much is reported of the Chinese motorcycle industry in relation to CBU (Completely Built Unit) motorcycles but it would be remiss to negate the huge motorcycle parts industry.
As with its built-up counterpart the parts industry has been having its troubles. China is the biggest producer of motorcycle parts in the world, producing parts not only for Chinese brands but also for many of the best known global motorcycle manufacturers.
Chongqing is the national center for motorcycle parts production and this year the CIMAMotor expo has greatly increased the amount of motorcycle parts exhibitors at the show.
Last month I spoke to a selection of motorcycle parts company bosses China-wide and asked them their opinions of the future of the motorcycle parts industry.
Mr. Lin, sales manager of Sanyang Plastic Parts (Guangdong branch) announced “This year, 1 in 5 motorcycle parts manufacturers have quit the motorcycle market. The parts industry reshuffle is accelerating, and small manufacturers almost have no way out.”
Mr. Ma, who is CEO of a fuel tank factory, stated “last year profits of parts factories fell sharply due to sheer price drop in both overseas and domestic orders, plus the large increase in labour costs. Although there is little change in raw material prices, manufacturers’ profits on traditional models are quite low. Some models even yield zero profit and due to this we have suspended our operations in Chongqing and Shanghai for the time being with the hope that we can reopen when times change.”
The more established and brand marketed parts manufacturers enjoy booming business. Parts from other manufacturers, like Maxxis and Kenda Tyres, WLJF Sprockets and KEIMA carburetors are hot products in the market and regarded as a selling point by all motorcycle manufacturers!
Mr. Xiao, sales director of Feiying Motorcycle (FYM), has cooperated with parts factories for many years and is well versed in the motorcycle parts industry’s development. He commented “the parts industry is dividing. Some factories keep growing and have marketed their brands successfully so that they have become well-known while others shrink in size to consolidate or even go bankrupt.
“Eventually, parts manufacturer brands will be more concentrated, we will see a situation where the bigger parts companies will buy up the smaller ones. This works in 2 ways for the bigger companies; firstly they can add the purchased company’s customer list and supply chain contacts; secondly they eliminate the smaller company from their sphere of competition.”
Mr. Zheng, manager of Zhengxin Industry (HK) Co., Ltd., told us that they believed that parts for large displacement motorcycles were profitable, and they were contacting motorcycle manufacturers to negotiate how to enhance parts quality for large displacement motorcycles.
He stated “the market is swamped with companies selling parts for commuter motorcycles and scooters, so swamped that it has forced us to look at another avenue of business. We will investigate the larger motorcycle market. Firstly, this is a growing market domestically, which is more than we can say for the commuters; secondly it will give us an advantage with global exports.”
In a concerted effort to re-start the moto parts export industry the China International Motorcycle Trade Exhibition (CIMAMotor) has greatly increased the participation of parts companies.
It’s great for foreign trade visitors to see the new models released at CIMAMotor especially with the leaps in style and tech happening now in China but I constantly find that motorcycle industry lads and lasses are here for parts and accessories. This year CIMAMotor has greatly increased the representation from the parts sector in line with consumer wishes.
Dave McMullan, an international Ultimate MotorCycling correspondent who reports exclusively on the Chinese motorcycle industry, can be reached at email@example.com. Also, visit his website at englishmaninchina.org.