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.

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