yamaha agency Yamaha agency in Mexico City.

Yamaha imports up but China leads

China's market share of motorcycle imports is 72%

Imports of Japanese motorcycles rose 67% in the first 10 months of the year, but those imports remain well below what they used to be in the early 1990s, now that China has become the principal supplier.

In 1992 Japanese motorcycle imports hit a record 54,822 units; between January and October they totaled just 2,280. However, that was a big jump over the previous year, when 1,363 bikes were imported.

This year’s jump has been attributed to aggressive promotions by Yamaha and Suzuki. But China continues to dominate the market with a 72% share, says the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA), which also reported that motorcycle sales in the first half of the year rose 7.7% to 89,490 units.

Japan’s market share is just 2.5%, India has 17% and the United States 4.5%.

The figures apply only to AMIA members, which include BMW, Carabela, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Polaris. The Mexican manufacturer Italika, which has an estimated 75% of the market, is not a member.

The most popular bikes in Mexico are the small ones — 50 to 250 cubic centimeters — with 80% of the market. Sales of those motorcycles were up 40% in the first half of the year.

Along with aggressive marketing, Yamaha is also opening more outlets. Earlier this year the company said it would open 50 new agencies in 2014.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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