Kawasaki has high hopes for rest of year
Japanese motorcycle maker Kawasaki Motors Enterprises (Thailand) remains confident about sales growth despite bearish performance for the period from April to September.
Senior manager Krisana Pakeephat said the company still has high expectations for the remainder of the year, banking on the six new motorcycles that will be launched this month.
“This quarter is the right time to stimulate the local market particularly for the sport motorcycle and big bike segments, which are growing despite aggressive competition among international brands,” he said. Kawasaki focuses mainly on midside models (150-500cc) and big bikes (above 500cc).
Mr Krisana forecasts Kawasaki sales to grow by 10% in fiscal 2016 to 27,000 motorcycles.
The company reported sales from April to September decreased by 4.4% to 11,920 motorcycles.
In line with the country’s motorcycle market, Kawasaki’s sales fell continuously over the last three years from 43,016 units in 2013 to 32,549 units in 2014 and 24,524 units in the last fiscal year.
Mr Krisana predicts the overall motorcycle market to stay at 1.6-1.7 million units in 2016, compared with 1.68 million units in 2015.
Thailand’s motorcycle sales surpassed 2 million for the first time in 2011, hitting 2.01 million units.
Sales rose to 2.13 million units in 2012, the highest ever in the country, before dropping to just 2 million in 2013.
In 2014, the market fell sharply by 15% to 1.7 million units amid the political turmoil and payment delays to farmers under the rice-pledging scheme.
The local big bike market has performed well, with sales surging from 6,100 units in 2012 to 13,000 units in 2013, 16,000 units in 2014 and 20,000 units in 2015.
Mr Krisana said the big bike market remains promising this year particularly for the mid-sized segment in which the company is actively engaged.
However, he said negative factors may affect the motorcycle market such as weak purchasing power and natural disasters such as floods and drought.
Kawasaki Motors Enterprises was founded by Japan-based Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) in 1997 with registered capital of 1.9 billion baht, with KHI holding a 92.6% stake.
Its manufacturing plant at Rayong’s GK Land Industrial Park has an annual capacity of 190,000 motorcycles per year. The facility serves both the domestic market and exports to 60 countries.
Mr Krisana says he is banking on six new motorcycles launched this month to stimulate Kawasaki’s local sales for the remainder of this year.