Chinese Motorcycle Industry Attempts to Reverse Export Decline
The Customs and Excise department of the Chinese government have just released the half year motorcycle export figures for 2014.
The number of motorcycles exported from January to June 2014 was recorded at 4,661,792 units, a decrease of 6.24 percent compared with the same period of the previous year. The total value of the motorcycles exported for January to June 2014 was $2,504,508,389, a decrease of 4.54 percent compared with the same period last year.
Over the last few months I have frequently documented the reasons for China’s slight but noticeable downturn with the main issue being India’s entrance on to national markets traditionally controlled by the Chinese motorcycle industry. Here I will document the opinions of some of China’s motorcycle industry most influential commentators with regard to reversing the decline.
Chinese automotive industry historian and motorcycle event organizer Guo Changchun opined “we all know the reasons for the export downturn, the Indians and Japanese are encroaching on our markets, mainly due to the extra disposable income available to customers that had previously only been able to afford Chinese bikes.
Now the industry needs to start looking at other markets, markets that we have previously been unable to make decent headway in. The biggest motorcycle importer in the world is Indonesia, which has an estimated 60 million motorcycle users.
Their market is pretty much controlled by Honda and Yamaha but there are niche markets that the Chinese can target. One of these is the 250cc market which has recently been successfully targeted by Kawasaki (the Ninja 250); Chinese companies are renowned for producing very decent 250cc dual sports which could certainly compete on that playing field, especially when you consider the price difference between a Japanese bike and a Chinese.
A while ago, when the country of Burma (Myanmar) began to stabilize somewhat after years of conflict many Chinese motorcycle companies began to target their commuter sector to great effect. Now Burma is the biggest importer of Chinese motorcycles in the world with over half a million units shipped there in the first 6 months of 2014.
The industry needs to identify and target new markets progressively instead of relying on old territories; we need to see the success in Burma and follow that example in other countries. Another market that is picking up at the moment is the Philippines, but for every 2 that pick up we lose ground in another 3.”
The China Chamber of Commerce’s motorcycle division has reacted to the downturn by organizing a forum to be held in Chongqing in September.
Forum organizer Gu Fang reports “The organizing committee will invite the executive and technical directors employed by motorcycle manufacturers both from China and internationally to attend the forum and introduce/ explain the latest developments of the global motorcycle industry, paying particular attention to technical standards and regulations, fuel-efficiency and emission reduction technologies, motorcycle design, new materials, electric motorcycle technology among other aspects that we need to develop and evolve.
This forum will be held concurrently with an exhibition to display the latest products and technologies in motorcycle industry. The forum will be a platform for boosting technological exchanges between motorcycle manufacturers, parts and components manufacturers, R& D institutes, special equipment manufacturers, media and technical solution companies. There will be 5 main talking points at the forum all being discussed under a distinctive subject title.
The first subject for discussion is exploring business opportunities in which motorcycle parts and component manufacturers from China will meet and converse with international parts buyers in an effort to achieve ‘win win’ solutions for all parties.
Secondly the sub-forum entitled technical development will allow Chinese research and development departments to meet with foreign counterparts in order to discuss situations that will help to evolve Chinese motorcycle R&D.
The forum’s 3rd task is to bring together the motorcycle manufacturers with parts and component suppliers in an information exchange platform. This will also include manufacturing equipment and tooling companies and persons from related industries.
The final stage of the forum will be the discussion of brand marketing and the negative influence of re-branding. It this universal rebranding that is blocking the growth of the Chinese motorcycle industry as it is virtually impossible for the satisfied end user (the commuter let’s say) to identify that their motorcycle is anything other than the brand name put on it; many have no idea of the actual manufacturer which prevents that company from gaining a good reputation for their brand. This stage will also include input from motorcycle designers from both China and oversees.”
The next four months will see the hosting of this forum, Canton fair, the China Motorcycle parts expo and CIMAmotor. If you wish to attend any of these events and need a bit of assistance write to me (David McMullan) at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to make it painless for you!
January – June 2014 Motorcycle Export Figures by Export Destination (top 10)
|Change from previous year (%)|
January – June 2014 Motorcycle Export Figures by CCs
|Change from previous year(%)|
|50cc & under||504,619||275,024,331||-27.16||-22.43|