China June. Last month strong recovery allowed to close H1 down only 3%

Chinese Motorcycles Market

Chinese Motorcycles Market grew up 15% in June almost recovering in the year to date figures and ending the first half 2019 with 7.7 million sales (-3.1%). While the segment of e-scooter is fast growing, traditional combustion engines segment declines over 15% and the competitive scenario is fast evolving.


Economic Environment

In the second quarter of the year, the Chinese economy expanded at the weakest pace since at least 1992, as the trade war with the United States continued to undermine the external sector and investment. Nominal merchandise exports contracted in Q2, mostly reflecting weak global demand and spillovers from the China-U.S. trade spat. Moreover, trade disputes dragged on investment throughout the quarter despite increased bank lending causing a notable uptick in June. Volatility in China’s economic data is expected to continue further down the road until the trade dispute settles.

Uncertainty regarding the China-U.S. trade war will continue to weigh on growth this year, while weak global demand and domestic economic imbalances are additional downside risks. That said, the government’s commitment to support the economy via fiscal stimulus and accommodative monetary policy should make the 6.0–6.5% growth target for this year attainable


2019 Sales Figures

Chinese Motorcycles Market is not more the locomotive of the global industry since the 2015 government decision to ban motorcycles from urban center aiming reducing the pollution.

Following the last year fall, when the market landed at 15.5 million units, over 7 million below the global top market, the Indian, in the 2019 the Chinese Two wheels industry kept dropping, hit by internal low demand for consumption goods and persistent policy against pollution in all the large and medium tiers towns.

Indeed, according to date released by the Chinese Association of the Automotive Manufacturers, sales declined in the entire first quarter, with January and February, respectively by 22.9% and 11.6% before to the March figures, down only 0.6%. The total sales in the first quarter have been 3.4 million, down 12%.

In the second quarter the market recovered with April sales at 1.32 million units (-2.2%), May sales at 1.45 million (+0.6%) and June at 1.58 million (+15%) ending the first half 2019 with 7.7 million sales down only 3.1%.


Market Trend

China’s motorcycle industry claims to have developed the largest motorcycle production center in the world. The industry is centered on three regions — Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces and Chongqing city in the Chongqing municipality.

China’s domestic motorcycle sales reached the all time record in the 2014 with 26.9 million sales.

During the 2015 the Chinese Government has taken the dramatic and unbelievable decision to ban motorcycles in urban centre (why not cars?) causing at the industry the deepest fall ever reported in the motorcycles world industry, when in the 2016 the market fell down at 16.8 million. The government has explained the decision aiming to cut down urban pollution, imploring people to use public transportation. The reason given behind this is that most Chinese motorcycles are two strokes, and these have much higher exhaust emissions than a four stroke powered motorcycle. 

In the 2017 there was a little recovery when the market was up 2% at 17.1 million, but in the 2018 the commercial battle between US and China has reduced the domestic demand for consumer goods and the 2-wheeler sector was hit again. The year ended with 15.5 million vehicles sold, losing 9.1% from the previous year.

Actually the Chinese market is the second largest in the World after being overtaken in the 2016 by India and now stands in second place with a growing gap towards the leader and ahead of Indonesia and VietnamActually China represents 24.9% of global sales.


Banning e-bikes

The consequence of banning the traditional scooter industry was to boom the-bike (moped or electric bike) industry up to a record of 30 million annual sales. However, e-bikes carry some very pronounced drawbacks in China. A walk through a Chinese city that has a high prevalence of e-bikes reveals these problems clearly: electric bicycles zipping around in every direction, dominating the bike lanes, driving on the sidewalks, virtually running down pedestrians, and weaving in and out of traffic often with little heed to road rules or personal safety.

As effect, over 10 major metropolitan areas, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen, and Shenzhen, have restricted or outright banned e-bike usage.


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