Unfortunately, the decline in motorcycle sales in the Japanese market has not stopped. The rate of decline is changing, but the trend remains the same.
According to Motorcycles Data agency, in 2019 the Japanese market showed another anti-record in sales. In general, over the past year, 331307 units of motor vehicles of all classes and cubes were sold.
Few details: judging by the data for the last 5 years, the largest decline in sales was in the market of small-capacity equipment. in 2015, 193,842 units of motor vehicles with a working volume of 50 cubic centimeters or less were sold. In 2019, only 132,086 sales took place in this segment – a significant decrease of 60,000 units.
Motorcycles less than 100 cubes will disappear
At the same time, sales of motorcycles with a cubic capacity of more than 50 cubes have fluctuated around 20,000 units over the past 5 years. So, 2019 showed a slight increase in sales compared to 2015 – 199121 units against 178854 units 5 years ago.
This is quite good as Japan continues to follow modern environmental regulations. At a meeting in May 2019, Suzuki Chairman of the Board, Mr. Osamu Suzuki, predicted that soon motorcycles with a cubic capacity of less than 100 cubes will disappear, and the 125-150 cubic category will be the youngest.
The reason for this is that the era of two-stroke motorcycles on the road is essentially over. With equal cubic capacity, this technique is more powerful, cheaper to manufacture and lighter in weight, but, unfortunately, the exhaust of two-stroke engines is much less environmentally friendly than that of four-stroke units, and this is especially true for small-cubic models. Four-stroke 50-cc mopeds are distinguished by very modest dynamics and considerable weight, so the demand for them is lower. In addition, the boom in electric vehicles – in particular, electric bicycles – should be considered, and this technique is a direct competitor to small-capacity gasoline motorcycles.
Time will tell
I wonder if the market will be able to repeat the breakthrough of 2016-2017, when 338148 units of motor vehicles were sold in 16 (which is very close to the value of 2019), and in the next 2017 the market showed some growth – 357,264 units were sold.
Time will tell whether sales of vehicles over 50 cubic meters will be able to cover losses from small sales of less cubic models. It is also interesting to compare the dynamics of sales of electric motorcycles and motorbikes with these data.