China Is Now The World’s Largest Motorcycle Producer. Harley-Davidson To Manufacture In China?

It’s official. China has now taken over Japan as the largest producer of motorcycles in the world. 50 million motorcycles are produced worldwide, and China is stated to manufacture at least 27.5 million of them, or a little more than 50% of the total world production.

China has more than 130 motorcycle brands, for now manufacturing mostly simple one-cylinder air cooled models. Thanks to increased standard of living, and exposure to some American TV programs, Chinese are reported to be more and more interested by big cruisers, choppers and even trikes.

Brazil, India and now China are the 3 countries big motorcycle manufacturers are looking at for expansion. Everybody knows that China will improve very fast and is seeking to become the most powerful economy in the world. So, guess what? I bet with my readers that like in Brazil and India, Harley-Davidson and other brands will start assembling some of their models in China for the local market and as a platform to export to Asia. Not tomorrow, but sooner than you think. And if you disagree, let’s talk again about it in less than 5 years.

It’s one world. Whatever the nationality of an international corporation, it will assemble and produce where it’s strategically more efficient and more profitable. Very often, in many different places at the same time around the world. Many companies, American or foreign do this since many years. By the way, B.R.I.C. is the name of a popular ETF (Exchange-Traded-Fund sold under the symbol EEB) that you can buy as an investment. BRIC means that your stock investments are spread between 4 of the most growing economies Brazil – Russia – India and of course China (these countries account for 42% of world’s population and have the fastest growing middle class). Not making a stocks recommendation. Just mentioning…(photo at

18 Responses to “China Is Now The World’s Largest Motorcycle Producer. Harley-Davidson To Manufacture In China?”

  1. 1 Jeffrey Dec 16th, 2010 at 8:57 am

    It’s sad, but probably the truth.

  2. 2 Larry R Dec 16th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Gotta go where the money is. Hell, we gave it to them. Guess I better learn Chinese if I’m to survive in this New World Order. It is so nice to see a Communist country take over the market. Just my 2 cts.

  3. 3 CHOPMONSTER 66 Dec 16th, 2010 at 11:25 am


  4. 4 fuji Dec 16th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    How long before a Chinese company { with Chinese government aid / concessions } builds a similar bike to Harley Davidson and puts it on the Chinese, Asian and Latin American markets.

  5. 5 JZ Dec 16th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    China has a restriction on all motors above something like 500cc (could be 650cc). At any rate, this is a real blow to most American bikes (H-D, Indian, Confederate, Victory, etc.) and the larger Euro bikes. Unless laws change, this will severely limit the entry capabilities and future of US firms in China. Will they manufacture bikes in China? Possibly. (Look at Triumph in Thailand.) But selling current “American” bikes to the Chinese in China is another story.

  6. 6 Hess Dec 16th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    JZ. It’s about one year now that they talk about increasing the number of cc. At the request of Chinese manufacturers because there is a demand for much bigger motorcycles.

  7. 7 666 Dec 16th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Just a matter of time before HD is pronounced HARREY DAVIDSON!!!! The factory is already there and having exhaust and charging system components built. They have been in Taiwan for 20 years or so. Soon all the mfg will be in Asia with only assembly for now in the states. It is really over with but keep on fightin!!

  8. 8 Grey Beard Dec 17th, 2010 at 12:48 am

    CLICK CLICK….. Here that ?!?!?!?!
    It’s the AMF era Harleys being elevated up another notch of respect.

    Yep….. Won’t be long til the 1970-1981’s lose the so called AMF stigma and will be referred to as the “American made Harley Davidson”.

  9. 9 Wiz Dec 17th, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Japan used to make a Harley called the “Rikio” [or something like that]. Spittin’ image of a Flathead 45 two wheeler. On another note them Orientals have trouble with thier vison, 50% of them have caterracks, the othe other 50% drive “Rinkons”!! YUK-YUK!! Wiz

  10. 10 jatinder pal Dec 17th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Sad but Very true.

  11. 11 Dec 17th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    WHAT A SCARY STATISTIC! Can you imagine riding on a Highway like I-95 75-80 MPH (that’s the speed you can Travel without getting pulled over) with 5 to 7 Lanes, all busy on a Chinese Murdercycle?
    P.S. That’s what they call them over 35 MPH and 50cc !

  12. 12 Ed Dec 17th, 2010 at 12:04 pm


    I really appreciate your outstanding moto-news, This one is really scary.

    I don’t argue with the “business case” of manufacturing in China. You know, the crap that our greedy and irresponsible corporate CEOs blast out continuosly, but with the only real “benefit” being the outrageous growth of their own personal pockets, But isn’t there more to motorcycling, the manufacturing industry, the American dream and life itself, that just lowly “business cases”?

    Yeah, I know, I’ll just shut up and go ride … my H-D (still American-made, or so I’d like to think).


  13. 13 nuno maroco Dec 17th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    New Era, hope every country around the world can work and live together.Everyone win.

  14. 14 martin Twofeather Dec 17th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Well said Nuno and a new dawn has come,but it opens the door for the real builders and their bikes to exceed and excel…………..

  15. 15 MC Dec 18th, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Hey Cyril,

    It would be interesting to get some statistics regarding quality and customer satisfaction from those who actually purchased one.


  16. 16 Zipper Dec 24th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Will OCC be next?

  17. 17 Conrad Nicklus Dec 24th, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    What a joke.. There goes yet another American product in which will allow our economy to dump that much more. I mean come on, some people need to understand that by releiving our country of its major companies it hinders our ability to control markets all around the world. It also helps other countries gain that much more control over our country. This is America, we are suppose to be the leader of the World.

  18. 18 Thug CC Dec 25th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I knew it!!!! And this really blows!!!

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Cyril Huze