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Honda’s Biggest Sales Failure in 72 Years


Honda Motorcycles in 2020 faced their biggest sales gap in 72 years. The decrease in the whole world was about 5 million units, or 24.4%. The total number of sales was 15.3 million units, while the markets of Southeast Asia, India and China showed extremely negative dynamics.

History of the Honda company

Honda’s motorcycle history began in 1949, and in 1964 they became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. Today, the company has more than half a century of leadership in the industry, more than 400 million units of motor vehicles sold, and the company’s products are manufactured by 33 enterprises located in 22 countries around the world.

Honda set a record in 2018, for the first time in history (domestic and global) sold more than 20 million motor vehicles per year – or rather, 20.8 million units of equipment under one brand. This includes both motorcycles and other motor vehicles – mopeds, scooters, all-terrain vehicles and ATVs.

2019 showed a slight decline in salesbut the total was still in excess of 20 million, roughly a third of the global motor market. However, 2020 has become “Terrible” for japanese legend: Global sales fell more than ever in the last 50 years, with only 15.3 million units registered by the end of the year. The company missed 24.4% of sales, or approximately 5 million units. Decrease in sales was observed in all markets, except for the Pacific region (+ 10%) and Eastern Europe (+ 8.7%). In other markets, the decline in sales is expressed in double digits.

Major Honda losses

A key region for Honda is Southeast Asia, hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. Here Honda lost 28.8% of regional sales to 2.8 million units, mainly due to industry collapses in Indonesia and the Philippines.

The second most important region, India, also hit by the coronavirus crisis, saw a 23.9% drop in sales. At the same time, Pakistan lost only 3%, while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – about 10%. However, in these regions, sales dropped for all manufacturers.

Another thing is China, where the overall motorcycle market showed a moderately positive trend, but Honda lost 21.3%. The reasons for this lie in the fact that China is one of the most dynamically developing markets in terms of technology, and domestic manufacturers here are systematically switching to electric scooters, which are already produced and sold in millions of units, and Honda is still far from the serial production of electric vehicles.

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