Motorcycle manufacturing in Taiwan

taiwanTaiwan Trade Council release on Motorcycle manufacturing.


Some interesting figures have been released by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council relating to the manufacture of motorcycles in that country. During first half of 2008, sales in Taiwan jumped 6.8 percent as people sought cheaper transportation alternatives.

"Higher oil prices have been beneficial for our company," says Ko Chun-ping, executive vice president of Kwang Yang Motor Co., Taiwan’s biggest motorcycle maker. "We expect 10 percent sales growth this year after growth of about 6 percent last year."

Kwang Yang expects high oil prices to persist and is developing technologies for hybrid engines and 100 percent electric powered motorcycles."In two to three years, we expect to announce commercial products," Ko said.

During the first half of 2008, Taiwan’s sales of motorcycles in unit terms rose by 6.8 percent to 798,496 motorcycles from 747,521 during the same period a year ago, according to the Taiwan Transportation Vehicle Manufacturers Association (TVMA).

"Sales of motorcycles have been especially strong in the U.S.," said Sanyang Industry Co. Vice President Chou Ken-yuan. "With oil prices so high, people there don’t think motorcycles are toys anymore." Sanyang expects its motorcycle exports to increase by about 30 percent to 40 percent this year, Chou said.

Sanyang, which sells about 60 percent of its motorcycles in Taiwan and exports the rest, expects the proportion of the company’s export and domestic sales to be equal in the future as it moves into export markets more aggressively.

Electronic fuel injection (EFI) engines are another key trend for Taiwanese motorcycle manufacturers. EFI engines can typically cut air pollution by 30% and cut fuel consumption by 15% compared with carburetor engines while boosting horsepower.

Taiwan’s three largest motorcycle makers in descending order by unit sales are Kwang Yang; Yamaha Motor Taiwan Co., a subsidiary of Japan’s Yamaha Motor Co.; and Sanyang. Other Taiwanese motorcycle makers include Motive Power Industry Co., previously a partner of Italy’s Piaggio & C S.p.A, and Tailing Motor Co. a subsidiary of Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp.

Sanyang sells motorcycles under the SYM brand, while Kwang Yang has the KYMCO brand and Motive Power uses the PGO brand. Taiwan government has made brand building the top priority in boosting the competitiveness of Taiwan’s economy.

Taiwan will host the 4th Taiwan International Motorcycle Industry Show from April 16-19 next year at the Taiwan World Trade Center.

  In 2007, Taiwan’s total motorcycle sales reached 1.5 million units, according to the TVMA data. Taiwan is the world’s seventh ranked motorcycle maker in terms of units sold, based on 2007 data from TVMA.
Taiwan’s output of motorcycles reached a peak in 1995, when the island sold a total of 1.7 million units, according to the TVMA.

The world’s top-three manufacturing nations are China with 25.5 million motorcycles sold in 2007, followed by India with 8.1 million motorcycles and Indonesia with 4.7 million units during the same period. Total global sales of motorcycles reached about 47 million units in 2007, according to the TVMA.

Taiwan’s motorcycle industry accounts for about NT$80 billion (US$2.5 billion) worth of production value annually.
Taiwan’s manufacturers have focused on production of motorcycles with displacements from 250 c.c. to 500 c.c., which are better suited for European and North American markets.

Over the past years, Taiwan’s motorcycle manufacturers have expanded offshore production to India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and China.

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