Taiwan. Electric scooter segment is booming due to a 2020 revised incentive scheme

Yamaha EC-05

Taiwan Motorcycles Market in the 2019 is steady at the previous year level. However, the market is deeply changing and the new local start-up, Gogoro is over doubling sales escalating the ranking. Since January 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency ’s (EPA) incentives to electric vehicles will be reduced with a rush to purchase in these last days of the year.

 

Electric Motorcycles Subsidy Plan

The Environmental Protection Agency ’s (EPA) draft electric vehicle subsidy has been released informing about a change in the subsidies policy for both cars and motorcycles, which a reduction of new vehicles purchase by 6.000 yuan (almost US$850 on a total of 

From next year, the subsidy to purchase a new electric fueled motorcycles/scooter will be reduced from 10.000 yuan (US€1.427) to 7.000 yuan (US$1.000) and will be further reduced at 5.000 yuan in the 2021. This plan assumes that the strong incentives provided so far already helped the manufacturers to create scale economy in the production.

Indeed, the incentive provided so far helped the boom of local start-up Gogoro and incentivized the other players develop a their own electric scooter lineup, with this segment already up a significant share of market, the highest in the World.

Fearing to lose government support, the Taiwanese customers are really invading the Gogoro shops and sales boosted on the sky, allowing the achievement, in November of a sensation volume of 18.500 sales, and probably in December the 20.000 units will be hit.

 

Domestic Market Trend 

Taiwan is not even one of the top production hub for two-wheelers in the World, but in recent years grew up even as domestic market, gaining positions in the global motorcycles chessboard as market as well.

Indeed, following a series of growth, the market achieved the all-time record volume in the 2017, just a little step down the 1 million annual units. However, the introduction of a new scheme for the automotive industry which penalize the traditional combustion engines in favor of alternative fuels, changed the competitive scenario, reducing the market volume in the 2018, when sales have been 840.000.

Meantime, the fast development of electric scooter segment, driven by the astonishing rise of the recent start-up Gogoro, changed the competitive arena and the traditional brands, SYM, Kymco, Yamaha and Suzuki, are facing new consumer demand struggling under the Gogoro attack.

In the 2019, according to data released by the Taiwanese Minister of Transportation & Logistic, the market is recovering and the change of subsidies scheme, reported above, is creating a huge demand for the year-end days. However the full year 2019 market will be in line with the previous year.

Two Taiwanese brands, Kymco and SYM are among the top global scooter producers exporting all over the World and – of course – they play the rule of leaders in the home-base country.

Aiming to defend the market position while electric scooters grew up, Yamaha have accepted to find an agreement with Gogoro, to commercialize a new line up of scooters, produced in the local Gogoro plant. The first model fruit of this partnership was recently presented and is the Yamaha EC-5, was available for booking since August 1st, with deliveries in September. 

 

Market Heritage

Taiwan is the home-base for well-known global motorcycles companies, like Kymco and Sym and is one of the major motorcycles and scooter producer in the World. However, the domestic market is even one of the Top 10 largest worldwide and the motorcycles are a key device for individual mobility.

The development of the market started already in the ’80 of last century, but the key factor for the industry development was the joining of WTO agreement in the 2002, which pushed the industry to improve standards to match requirements of European and American markets and to allow at the local producer to defend their domestic positions against the arriving importers.

Indeed, an almost favorable legislation has limited the distribution of large size motorcycles and so far the market is dominated by local producers, with Yamaha and Suzuki producing in the country.

Interesting to note as the global leader, Honda, is not producing locally limiting their activity to the distribution of large motorcycles. Indeed, Honda had begun local production of small-sized motorcycles in 1961, mainly 125 cc-class models, in the form of a technology licensing agreement with a local company (under a technical collaboration agreement) and continued until 2003, when has closed operations.

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