Motorcycle manufacturers adopt a new strategy

As the motorcycle market saturates, manufacturers have decided to enter a niche market – large displacement motorcycles – as part of a so-called “blue ocean strategy”.

A report by the Vietnam Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (VAMM) found that its five member companies sold 2,492,372 products in 2021, down 220,243 products, or 8.1 percent, from 2020.

It was the third year in a row that sales declined and the second year in a row that sales were below 3 million products. The last time the market saw growth was in 2018, when 3,386,097 products were sold, up 3.8% from 2017.

Honda Vietnam said it sold 1.99 million in 2021, down 7% from a year earlier, but its market share rose 1% to 79.9%.

In 2020, Honda sold 2,142,564 products, down 16.7% from 2019.

Piaggio Vietnam declined to give the exact figure, but said in 2021 the company boosted exports, while domestic consumption declined.

Experts attributed the sharp drop in motorcycle sales to the Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic has affected the incomes of workers and students, which has led to a drop in demand.

Due to the rise of electric motorcycles and the saturation of gasoline-powered motorcycles, analysts believe that the market will not experience the strength of four or five years ago, despite price cuts and promotion campaigns for sales.

Although the general motorcycle market is cooling, large-displacement products are in high demand.

Piaggio Vietnam opened its second distribution agent in Hanoi in January, after opening the first in HCM City last December. Motoplex, a showroom following the global model of the Italian manufacturer, distributes the products of four high-end brands, namely Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi.

Analysts say Aprilia and Moto Guzzi have attracted attention by selling their products lower than Ducati.

The Moto Guzzi brand offers Classic models ranging in price from 385 million VND to 505 million VND. At the same time, the Aprilia brand offers sports models for young people. The highest price, 885 million VND, is for RSV4 Factory, while the lowest price, 475 million VND, is for Tuono 660.

On January 7, Yamaha Motor Vietnam held a launch ceremony for Revzone Yamaha Motor. The first major bicycle system has been set up in HCM City which will become operational in March.

Revzone Yamaha Motor will focus on large displacement and sport models. It will also sell other products such as motorcycle parts and accessories.

Large displacement products over 400cc will be imported as a CBU (Complete Unit Built) from Japan, while products below 400cc will be imported from Indonesia.

Preferred models such as MT-09, MT-10 and YZF-R7 are expected to have lower prices than products distributed by private dealers.

Honda Vietnam is a pioneer in the development and sale of large displacement products through a specific network – Honda Bigbike. The manufacturer has a community of users of large motorcycles and encourages the use of these motorcycles with “Biker day” activities organized in many places across the country.

The manufacturer also caused “shocks” by lowering the selling prices of some popular models, such as the 2021 CBR 150R to 70.9-72.5 million VND to compete with its rivals.

Nguyen Manh Toan, a well-known motorcycle collector in HCM City, said Vietnam’s big motorcycle market is still big because Vietnamese people have a passion for large-displacement motors and a love for motorcycles that will never end. . Once people’s incomes increase (Vietnam has set a GDP growth target of 6-6.5% and a GDP per capita of $3,900 for 2022), the demand for expensive, stylish and original products will increase. Therefore, motorcycle manufacturers have new approaches – making premium and unique products

He said that many more people will buy big motorcycles because it is easier and cheaper to pass the A2 (motorcycle) driving license exams.

“A lot of friends of mine have cars and motorcycles, but still want to buy big motorcycles to ride on weekends,” he said.

Toan and the biker community, unlike other communities, are mainly concerned with motorcycle brands, design and horsepower, and don’t care much about selling prices and sales promotions. Analysts believe that VAMM member companies that hold a large market in the common motorcycle market will capture this new market segment.

Dinh Quy

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