Chinese Motorcycles Market recovered in the 2019 ending the year with 16.4 million units (including two-wheeler and commercial tricycles), up 5% from the previous year. Following years of decline, the traditional combustion segment is growing while the electric scooter segment, the largest in the World, reduced the speed.
Chinese economic growth momentum remains weak. Industrial production was subdued in October, as the trade war with the U.S eroded manufacturing activities. This trend is expected to continue in the coming months as corroborated by a new drop in exports in November. Moreover, mounting economic uncertainty is postponing investment plans, especially among foreign firms.
In the 2020, the economy will continue to moderate amid a long-lasting trade rift with the United States. Moreover, the property sector is expected to suffer from tight financing, which will weigh on overall economic growth. Although supportive fiscal and monetary policies are expected to cushion the slowdown, the scale of the measures will be limited.
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 2018 fall, when the market landed at 15.5 million units, over 7 million below the global top market, India, in the 2019 the Chinese two-wheelers industry have lost sales up to May before to re-start growing in the last seven months of the year, ending with 16.4 million sales (including both motorcycles and commercial tricycles), up 5.5%.
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 Vietnam. Actually China represents 24.9% of global sales.
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.