Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the parent company of motorcycle manufacturer Kawasaki Motorcycles, held a Group Vision 2030 Strategic Development Report on June 1, 2021, which detailed a roadmap for the next several years of development, including a spin-off at subsidiary Kawasaki Motors Ltd that will handle the production of motorcycles and engines.
During the presentation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries reported that sales of large motorcycles (displacement from 401cc) have grown 80 percent since fiscal 2017. In addition, over the same period, the proportion of young (20 to 30 years old) buyers of Kawasaki motorcycles increased by 60 percent – a significant positive achievement, as generating and fueling interest in motorcycles among young people remains a critical marketing aspect of the entire industry.
Interest in off-road driving
The company also noted a strong surge in interest in off-road driving, both on motorcycles and on four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles, which the company also manufactures – however, we are talking here only about a few “rich” markets, in particular North American. These trends were one of the reasons behind the merger with Kymco to co-develop the four-wheel off-road business.
Hydrogen fuel and electric traction
As you know, motorcycles are only part of the Kawasaki Heavy Industries business, which also deals with medical equipment, heavy engineering, aviation, trains and much more. In particular, KHI is working on the use of environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel in internal combustion engines, and not only for motorcycles, but also for the marine and aviation sectors. However, since many manufacturers are working in similar directions, Kawasaki not only has its finger on the pulse of hydrogen energy, but as one of the slides in the Kawasaki Motors section says:
Given the changing social environment, we will accelerate developments in the electric motor, hybrid powertrain and hydrogen fueled areas, and strengthen cooperation in this industry.
In a word, the company decided not to put all the eggs in one basket and, along with the ICE on hydrogen, is also developing the direction of electric traction.
At the moment, Kawasaki has only reported one exact date for motorcycles. This is October 1, 2021 – the date that Kawasaki Motors Ltd will become an independent company.