China’s Motorcycle Industry Forum 2023 in Beijing: Enhancing Export Product Structure Optimization.
On May 18th, the “China Motorcycle Industry Development Forum,” with the central theme of “China Motorcycle Vision 2030+,” was successfully conducted in Beijing. The event was attended by over 120 representatives spanning a diverse range of sectors, from both domestic and international socio-economic domains, traffic management systems, and industry trade associations, to motorcycle and parts manufacturers. Additionally, prominent figures such as industry experts, leaders, and media personalities from the motorcycle industry graced the occasion.
Opening the conference was an address by Zuo Zongshen, the president of the China Motorcycle Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Zongshen Group. Li Bin, the executive vice president of the China Motorcycle Chamber of Commerce, subsequently delivered a keynote report titled “Accelerating the High-quality Development and Intelligent Transformation of Our Country’s Motorcycle Industry.” Li Bin shed light on how the recent transformation and upgrading of China’s motorcycle industry have yielded significant success. He pointed out the ongoing improvements in product structures, with high-capacity motorcycles, primarily used for leisure and entertainment, showing robust growth. The industry, he highlighted, remains vibrant due to technological advancements and evolving market demands. Looking ahead, he forecasted a swift transition and upgrade towards electrification, new energy, and green low-carbon development in the motorcycle industry. Li also emphasized the industry’s commitment to promoting the establishment of a safe, systematic, long-term driving system. This approach would integrate more intelligent, high-tech elements into motorcycle products, thereby significantly improving their safety, intelligence, and user experience. Further, he expounded specifically on the overall condition and export status of gasoline vehicles as discussed at the conference.
After a continuous downturn, China’s gasoline motorcycles gradually stabilize.
In 2022, the sales volume of gasoline motorcycles in China was about 13.79 million units, with about 6.16 million units sold domestically. Compared to the peak in 2008, the sales of gasoline motorcycles dropped by 50%, with domestic sales decreasing by about 70%. Overall, after nearly a decade of continuous decline, the sales of gasoline motorcycles have gradually stabilized. Especially during the three years of the pandemic, the state efficiently coordinated pandemic prevention and control with socio-economic development, issuing a series of support policies. The motorcycle industry reached near-historical highs in exports in 2021, with a small rebound in domestic sales. From January to April this year, the sales volume of gasoline motorcycles was about 4.36 million units, a decrease of 4%. The lack of demand in overseas markets had a significant impact on gasoline sales, while domestic sales were about 2.19 million units, an increase of 14%.
Increasing export pressure, continuous optimization of export product structure
In 2022, China’s motorcycle foreign trade exports were further under pressure, with an increasingly complex and severe external environment, an increase in uncertainties and unstable factors, and the continuous recovery of overseas motorcycle production, which posed significant pressure on China’s motorcycle exports. China’s motorcycle exports are mainly gasoline motorcycles. With the continuous weakening of domestic demand for traditional displacement gasoline motorcycles in recent years, the proportion of traditional motorcycles in overseas markets has gradually increased. In 2022, the proportion of gasoline motorcycle exports in total sales reached 55%.
According to the Chamber of Commerce’s statistics, in 2022, China exported 7.6 million motorcycles, a year-on-year decrease of 16%, with export revenues amounting to $53 billion, down 9% from the previous year. The downturn at the beginning of this year was significant for China’s motorcycle industry, but as of now, a gradually improving trend month-on-month is becoming more evident. In the first four months, exports reached 2.32 million units, down 11% year-on-year, a decrease of 10 percentage points from the first quarter.
On the other hand, with the transformation and upgrading of domestic motorcycles, the structure of China’s motorcycle export products is also continuously improving. In 2022, about 130,000 Chinese motorcycles with a displacement of 250ml and above were exported, representing a contrarian growth of approximately 4%. The average unit price of motorcycle exports also increased from over $500 to $650, and the average export price of motorcycles with a displacement of 250ml and above reached approximately $3000. From January to April this year, despite the sluggish demand in overseas markets, the export volume of large-displacement motorcycles still grew by about 8%, and China’s high-end motorcycle products began to venture into overseas markets.
Looking at the exporting countries, the main regions for China’s motorcycle exports are Asia, Africa, and Latin America, accounting for 90% of the total volume of motorcycle exports. In the past two years, export growth to the Asian market has been sustained, with an increase of approximately 8% in 2022, and a sharp rise of about 30% in the first quarter of this year.
In addition to the above, esteemed experts and scholars participated in the conference dialogue. Names included Professor Ma Jun from the Traffic Management Institute of the People’s Public Security University of China, Ueno Takashi, the chief representative of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, and Dr. Jia Bin from the China Internal Combustion Engine Industry Association. These individuals shared their insights on the future development path for the motorcycle industry.
To conclude the conference, Zhang Hongbo, the Secretary-General of the China Motorcycle Chamber of Commerce, delivered the closing speech. This forum, encapsulating the theme of “China’s Motorcycle Vision 2030+,” allowed for in-depth exchanges between government leaders, industry experts, academic professors, and entrepreneurs. They probed ways to ensure the transformation, upgrading, and healthy development of the motorcycle industry, given the prevailing economic climate. The consensus achieved during the forum is set to spark new thoughts, spur corporate advancements, and fuel the industry’s healthy growth. The forum was indeed a grand success.