Analysis: Production and Sales of Motorcycle Industry in 2018
In 2018, China’s motorcycle industry was facing a severe and complicated situation at home and abroad, as well as more stringent environmental protection measures. The overall performance of the industry was depressing, and the product structure was continuously optimized.
A. Overall production and sales declined
In 2017, driven by the steady growth of domestic economy and the sustained recovery of the world economy, the motorcycle industry saw a slight rebound after five years of decline in production and sales. In 2018, affected and restricted by various factors such as stricter national policies on energy conservation and emission reduction, and rising manufacturing costs, the positive trend of the industry was broken again, and the production and sales continued to decline. In 2018, the industry-wide production and sales of motorcycles were 15.5775 million and 15.5705 million units, down by 9.15% and 9.13 % compared with the previous year. Thereinto, the production and sales of two-wheeled motorcycles reached 13.9667 million and 13.9554 million units, down by 7.47% and 7.5% from the previous year. The production and sales of three-wheeled motorcycles totaled 1.6108 million and 1.6151 million units, down by 21.51% and 21.12% from the previous year. In 2018, the industry-wide export of motorcycles were 7.3092 million units, down by 2.7% from the previous year, lower than the falling range of the overall industry production and sales.
The causes leading to the decline of production and sales of the industry mainly include:
1) China has strengthened the efforts on environmental protection and implemented National IV Emission Standards for motorcycles, requiring that since July 1, 2018, all motorcycles and mopeds going through type inspection should meet the standard. By July 1, 2019, all products of the National III Standard must be upgraded and replaced, and all products announcements under the National III Standard will be cancelled. By then, all products sold and registered shall meet the new emission standard. The implementation of the new standard increases the manufacturing costs of motorcycles, which has a great impact on the middle and low-end products. At present, enterprises are actively responding to the switch from National III products to National IV products, completing the sale of National III inventory vehicles and preparing for the rollout of National IV products.
2) Due to the increased uncertainty of the international economic situation and the rise of trade protectionism, China’s motorcycle export slows down, which weakens the total industry production and sales.
3) With the improvement of residents’ income level, automobiles are affordable to more families, especially in rural areas. In addition, cheap low-end e-bikes have already occupied a huge market share in the rural areas, resulting in a double squeeze on the motorcycle market and shrinking market space.
4) The transformation and upgrading of three-wheeled motorcycles encountered difficulties, resulting in significant decline in the production and sales of this category.
Affected by the above factors, the production and sales of the whole industry in 2018 are significantly lower than that of the previous year, and the overall performance is relatively frustrating.
From the perspective of varieties, the production and sales of the three types of two-wheeled vehicles declined in an all-round way, and so did the three main types of three-wheeled vehicles. In 2018, the production and sales of standard motorcycles were 8.2727 million and 8.2372 million units, down by 6.71% and 6.85% year-on-year. The production and sales of cubs totaled 2.395 million and 2.4089 million units, down by 8.78% and 7.83% on a year-on-year basis. The numbers of scooters were 3.299 million and 3.3093 million units, down by 8.36% and 8.86% year-on-year.
B. 250cc and above models saw growth against trend
Since 2011, the motorcycle industry has entered the phase of transformation and upgrading, and the product structure has been continuously optimized. The market share of standard models which has the largest proportion of the industry are constantly shrinking, while the scooters obviously enhanced its market share, as an urban transport tool. The cubs, restricted by its body structure, have seen continuous decline in its market share in recent years. But over the past two years, this trend appears to have changed slightly. In 2018, the sales of standard models accounted for 52.9% of total motorcycle sales, up by 1.29 percentage points compared with the previous year. Since the sport and entertainment features of riding are mainly reflected by standard motorcycles, and with the improvement of people’s living standard, the market demand for the standard models as a recreational tool is constantly expanding, which will help increase the market share of this category.
Seen from the displacement, now China’s two-wheeled motorcycle products mainly include 50cc, 110cc, 125cc, 150cc and 250cc models. According to the market changes of the five types over the past 10 years, the market share of the 125cc motorcycles has declined, from 46.9% in 2009 to 40.8% in 2018. 150cc’s market share increased from 13.9% to 23.5%; 250cc’s market share increased from 1.5% to 6.7%; the market share of motorcycles with a displacement above 250cc increased from 0.03% to 0.78%. This indicates that the displacement tends to get increasingly larger–especially the market prospect of 250cc and above is very optimistic. In 2018, although the overall scale declined, the production and sales of 250cc and above models achieved growth. In 2018, the top five varieties of two-wheeled model in sales were 125cc, 150cc, 110cc, 250cc and 50cc, with sales of 5,717,500 units, 3,282,100 units, 2,266,000 units, 943,900 units and 716,100 units, respectively. Compared with the previous year, the 125cc, 150cc and 110cc all showed significant decrease, while 50cc basically unchanged and 250cc slightly increased. In 2018, the total sales of these five varieties were 12,925,500 units, accounting for about 92.62% of the total sales of two-wheeled motorcycles, representing an increase of 0.38 percentage points over the previous year.
In addition, the sales of 400cc models reached 62,500 units, down by 6.02% over the previous year, and that of 750cc models totaled 43,500 units, up by 62.89% from the previous year. In 2018, a total of 1.05 million two-wheeled motorcycles at 250cc and above were sold, up by 2.82% over the previous year, accounting for 7.52% of the total sales of two-wheeled motorcycles, increasing 0.76 percentage points over the previous year.
C. Export volume declined again, while the total export value maintained slight growth
In 2018, the export value of motorcycle manufacturers totaled 4.94 billion US dollars, up by 3.52% on a year-on-year basis, although a slower growth rate compared with the previous year. Thereinto, the export volume of complete motorcycles totaled 7.3092 million units, down by 2.70% year-on-year, which resulted in an export value of 4.148 billion US dollars, up by 2.07% on a year-on-year basis.
From the perspective of monthly change of the motorcycle export value, January saw most obvious growth; February saw rapid growth; After March, the growth slowed down, and after October, the export growth declined again. Overall, the fourth quarter was the most sluggish season.
From the perspective of monthly change of motorcycle export volume, there was a rapid growth in January and a sharp decline in February. From March to September–except for a small increase in May, there was a small decline in all months. The decline was more obvious after October. A total of 1,686,800 vehicles were exported in the fourth quarter, which was also a lot weaker than the first three quarters.
In 2018, the export of ATVs maintained a rapid growth momentum, with a total of 102,500 units exported, up by 14.66% year on year. The export value totaled 258 million US dollars, up by 33.71% on a year-on-year basis. The export value of motorcycle parts also showed a rapid growth, with a total export value of 314 million US dollars, up by 22.52% year on year. The export of motorcycle engines decreased over the previous year, totally 1.9244 million units, down by 9.61%, and the export value totaled 220 million US dollars, down by 14.90% year-on-year.
D . 125cc Models Achieved A Better Export Performance Among Major Export Types
In 2018, among the five varieties of two-wheeled motorcycles, the proportion of export volume and value of 125cc series (110cc<displacement≤125cc) continuously remained to be number one, with a total of 2.6892 million units exported, representing a year-on-year growth of 3.35% and a rate of increase 1.75 percentage points higher than that of the previous year; the export value totaled 1.469 billion US dollars, representing a year-on-year growth of 8.80% and a rate of increase 6.75 percentage points higher than that of the previous year. The export volume and value of the 150cc series (125cc<displacement≤150cc), which ranked the second place, both showed a slight decline, with a total of 1,7949 million units exported, down by 5.90% year-on-year, and the export value totaled 970 million US dollars, down by 1.38% year-on-year. The export volume of the 110 series (100cc<displacement≤110cc), which ranked the third, decreased slightly, and its export value increased slightly, with a total of 1.2158 million units exported, down by 5.04% year-on-year, and a total value of 553 million US dollars, up by 0.36% year-on-year. 250cc series (150cc<displacement≤250cc) ranked the fourth, with slightly increased export volume and slightly decreased export value: a total of 584,500 units were exported, a year-on-year increase of 0.94%; the export value was 438 million US dollars, a year-on-year decrease of 3.62%. The export volume of 50cc series (displacement≤50cc) ranked the fifth, which declined slightly, but the export value increased slightly: 392,200 units were exported, down by 0.02% year on year, and an amount of 222 million US dollars was achieved, up by 2.73% year on year.
In 2018, a total of 6.6766 million units of the above five series were exported, accounting for 91.35% of the total motorcycle export. The total export value of the five series was 3.652 billion US dollars, accounting for 88.04% of total motorcycle export value. In addition, the export of motorcycles above 250cc decreased in number but increased in value: 56,200 units were exported, a year-on-year growth of 5.78%; a total of 134 million US dollars was achieved, up by 44.78% year-on-year.
Among other varieties of two-wheeled motorcycles, 70cc (60cc< displacement≤70cc) showed a significant decline. The 80cc series (70cc<displacement≤80cc) and 90cc series (80cc<displacement≤ 90cc) also showed a downward trend, and 80cc series saw a more obvious decline.
Three-wheeled motorcycles showed a small decline, with a total of 350,600 units exported, down by 4.84% year-on-year; the export value totaled 268 million US dollars, down by 8.06% year-on-year.
E. Key Enterprises Continued to Occupy A High Market Share
In 2018, the performance of key enterprises in the industry was still active, and they continued to maintain a large market share. Among them, there are 17 enterprises whose product export value exceeded 100 million US dollars, three enterprises more than previous year and they achieved a total export value of 3.789 billion US dollars, accounting for 76.70% of the total export value of motorcycle products. There were 22 enterprises who exported more than 100,000 units respectively, which was the same as that of the previous year, and they achieved a total export volume of 6.2824 million units, accounting for 85.95% of the total export volume of motorcycles, a higher proportion over the previous year.
The top 10 enterprises in export value were: Loncin, Honda-Sundiro, Dachangjiang, Zongshen, Wuyang-Honda, Yinxiang, Lifan, Guangzhou Dayun, Qianjiang, and Cfmoto, the export value of which were 467 million, 375 million, 339 million, 300 million, 254 million, 252 million, 241 million, 228 million, 215 million and 211 million US dollars, respectively. Compared with the previous year, the growth rate of Cfmoto and Qianjiang in export value both exceeded 30%. Honda-Sundiro, Yinxiang and Dachangjiang also showed double-digit growth, while Loncin’s growth rate was slightly lower. The rest four enterprises all saw a decline. In 2018, the 10 enterprises’ export value achieved a total of 2.882 billion US dollars, accounting for 58.33% of the total export value of motorcycles.
The top 10 enterprises in export volume were: Loncin, Dachangjiang, Yixiang, Lifan, Zongshen, Guangzhou Dayun, Honda-Sundiro, Wuyang-Honda, Guangzhou Haojin and Astronautic Bashan, the export volume of which were 881,500 units, 545,400 units, 477,900 units, 413,800 units, 392,500 units, 388,500 units, 345,500 units, 296,800 units, 280,700 units and 264,100 units respectively. Compared with the previous year, Loncin and Dachangjiang saw fastest growth, Honda-Sundiro and Guanghzou Haojin slightly increased, Yinxiang slightly increased, and the rest five enterprises showed varying degrees of decline–Guangzhou Dayun saw the most significant decline. In 2018, the 10 enterprises exported a total of 4.2867 million motorcycles, accounting for 58.65% of the total export volume of motorcycles.
In general, the production and sales of the motorcycle industry in 2018 were not satisfying. Affected by the implementation of the National IV Emission Standard, excessive adjustment of product upgrading, and the slowdown of the export speed, the production and sales of the industry continued to decline, and the production and operation of motorcycle enterprises was under great pressure. In 2019, with the full implementation of the National IV Emission Standard and the implementation of the purchase tax exemption policy for motorcycles of 150cc and below, the production and sales situation of the industry is expected to be better than the previous year.
（Source: China Chamber of Commerce for Motorcycle）