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World Demand for Motorcycles to Exceed 134 Million Units in 2016
The global market for motorcycles, including electrically-powered machines, is forecast to expand 7.2 percent annually to 134.5 million units in 2016, when industry revenues will reach $90 billion. The Asia/Pacific region, which predominantly utilizes small and inexpensive motorcycles, will continue to dominate worldwide demand, representing 84 percent of all units sold in 2016. These and other trends are presented in World Motorcycles, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
World sales of motorcycles will be stimulated by rising standards of living in developing nations. China will remain by far the largest national market, with India and Indonesia also important based on large populations with the means to purchase inexpensive motorcycles. There is a strong correlation between average income levels and motorcycle demand up to a certain point. In emerging economies strong growth in motorcycle sales is triggered once certain per capita income thresholds have been reached.
Due to the superior fuel efficiency these machines provide compared to automobiles and other light vehicles, motorcycle demand gains will also be supported by higher petroleum costs. Furthermore, a rebound from the 2007-2009 recession in developed countries like the US will lead to higher product sales, particularly of medium and heavy motorcycles, as economic conditions become more favorable and consumers begin to purchase these expensive recreational items again. As a result, medium and heavy internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles will account for nearly 20 percent of 2016 demand in dollar terms, even though they will make up less than two percent of global unit sales.
Light motorcycles will remain the single largest ICE product segment in unit terms because they offer a mix of the best attributes of smaller (lower cost) and larger displacement models (more power). ICE scooters, mopeds, and motorbikes will comprise approximately one-third of total product sales in 2016, supported by their low cost and easy maneuverability in congested urban areas. Sales of electric bicycles (ebikes) and electric motorcycles (e-cycles) are expected to grow roughly in line with ICE motorcycle demand through 2016.
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