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Philippine Motorcycle Sales Reach Record High Level in 2019
The number of motorcycles sold in the Philippines increased by 7.2% year-on-year in 2019 to 1.75 million units according to data released by the ASEAN Automotive Federation, setting a new record high for the sixth consecutive year. The expansion of the middle-income group accompanying economic growth has helped boost market growth, the market doubling in the four years since 2015. In the Philippines, there are hundreds of thousands of motorcycles made in China that are not reflected in the official motorcycle sales statistics. Based on the number of registered vehicles by the Philippines’ Land Transport Office (LTO), the number of newly-registered motorcycles in 2019 was 2.44 million units, which can be regarded as the total demand for motorcycles in the Philippines.
Looking at motorcycles by type, the popularity of scooters is remarkable. The market share of scooters, which was 21.3% in 2015, rose to 36.5% in 2018. Unlike in other countries, the image of “scooter = Yamaha” has taken root in the Philippines. As a result, Yamaha’s sales have greatly increased as the popularity of scooters has expanded.
Looking at the trends of major manufacturers, market-leader Honda started local production of the BeAT scooter around March 2020. Initially the BeAT was imported from Indonesia, but Honda has switched to local production. Annual production is aimed to reach 130,000 units. Honda’s sales in the Philippines are expanding steadily as the market expands, but its market share is declining due to Yamaha’s expanding scooter sales. It appears that the localization of BeAT is intended to boost share in the scooter market.
Meanwhile, Yamaha, which has been continuing to expand its market share, started construction of a new plant in the Philippines in May 2019. A new factory building will be installed on the premises of the existing factory to double the annual production capacity from 400,000 units to 800,000 units. Yamaha’s initial plan is to start operations in July 2020. The production of the mass-market scooter Mio series will be transferred from the existing factory to the new building.