World demand to grow 6% annually through 2018 Worldwide demand for motorcycles is forecast to expand six percent per annum to over 132 million units in 2018, valued at $120 billion. Four major trends will drive growth through 2018:
An increasing number of households in industrializing countries will be able to afford motorcycles as personal incomes rise.
Sales of electric bicycles (e-bikes) and other electric models are projected to rise sharply outside of China from what are currently very modest levels of demand.
Motorcycle sales in a number of countries will be spurred by government programs aimed at reducing environmental pollution caused by automobiles.
Market advances will accelerate in a number of important markets such as Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.
However, further gains will be restrained by slowing growth in China, the world’s leading market for motorcycles, because of the large number of motorcycles already in use there. Market gains will also be dampened due to substitution by consumers of light vehicles for motorcycles in China and other industrializing countries.
Asia/Pacific region to remain largest market The Asia/Pacific region is by far the largest regional market. Motorcycles are viewed as a convenient alternative to public transportation, which is often unreliable and has issues with overcrowding. In addition, motorcycles are widely used for business activities in the region, which adds to their appeal. As living standards in the area continue to improve, an increasing number of households will be able to afford motorcycles. Among the nations recording the fastest growth will be Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Burma, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Electric models to boost sales in developed areas While North America and Western Europe represented only three percent of the worldwide motorcycle market in unit terms in 2013, these regions accounted for 16 percent of all product demand in value terms because of the popularity of medium and heavy motorcycles and other higher priced models. Both Western Europe and North America are projected to register rapid growth through 2018, as sales of electric models increase sharply and demand for internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles rebounds from the large declines posted in recent years.
Since 2008, demand for e-bikes has climbed at double-digit annual rates in many industrialized countries (particularly Germany and the Netherlands), and this trend is expected to continue. E-bikes are becoming more popular because they are a convenient alternative to bicycles, especially among older riders, and are more environmentally-friendly than ICE motorcycles. In addition, e-bikes generally do not require a license, cost considerably less than conventional motorcycles, and have lower operating costs.
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