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Thailand’s Motorcycle Sales Declines 4% in 2019 Due to Declining Rural Income

Thailand’s motorcycle sales dropped 3.9% year-on-year to 1.71 million units in 2019. At the beginning of 2019, sales were expected to be around 1.78 million units, which was the same level as the previous year. However, the market has shrunk for the second year in a row against the backdrop of the subsequent slowdown in economic growth and the decline in farm income due to the fall in agricultural product prices. As for 2020, due to the revision of Thailand’s excise tax system and tightening of exhaust gas regulations, a decrease of 2-3% was expected compared to 2019 at the beginning of the year. However, the sudden onslaught of the new coronavirus will surely cause a significant decrease in production and demand.

Looking at 2019 sales by engine displacement, the volume-selling 51-110cc class fell 5.5% to 883,000 units and the 111-125cc class declined 7.4% to 459,000 units. As for larger motorcycles, although the 126-250cc class went up 3.8% and the 251-399cc class rose 24.8%, 400cc and larger motorcycles dropped 5.7%.

Looking at sales by brand, market-leader Honda fell 3.5% to 1.35 million units. Motorcycles with an engine displacement of 125cc and below dropped 6.7% to 1.14 million units, but 126cc and larger motorcycles increased 18.8% to 207,000 units. As a result, Honda’s rate of decrease was smaller than the contraction of the overall market, enabling Honda to increase market share by 0.3 point to 78.7%. Yamaha, ranked second of 2019, fell 4.3% to 258,000 units and Suzuki, ranked third in 2019, increased 8.9% to 21,000 units.

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