A Freedonia Industry Study Of World Motorcycles Markets was released containing demand forecasts up to 2016 for 23 countries. The study also considers key market environment factors, evaluates company market share, and profiles 34 global motorcycles manufacturer competitors.
The worldwide market for motorcycles, including electrically-powered two wheelers, is forecast to grow 7.2 percent annually to 134.5 million units in 2016, and industry revenues are expected to rise 8.7 percent per year to $90.1 billion. The Asia/Pacific region will continue to dominate worldwide demand, representing 84 percent of all units sold in 2016. The region, which is home to the six largest national motorcycle markets, will account for more than four-fifths of all new unit sales between 2011 and 2016. However, it will only be the fourth fastest growing region in percentage terms behind North America, the Africa/Mideast region, and Eastern Europe, much smaller markets that together account for less than one tenth of global demand. China will remain by far the largest national market.
Standards of living in developing nations to fuel demand. World sales of motorcycles will be fueled by rising standards of living in developing nations. There is a strong correlation between average income levels and motorcycle demand up to a certain point. In emerging economies where motorcycles are an attractive alternative to walking, riding a bicycle, or utilizing mass transit, strong growth in motorcycle sales are triggered once certain per capita income thresholds are reached. However, as average incomes increase further and light vehicles become more affordable, markets start to make the transition from motorcycle to automobile dominance.
Demand gains for motorcycles will also be supported by higher petroleum costs due to the superior fuel efficiency these machines provide compared to light vehicles. Furthermore, a rebound from the 2007-2009 recession in developed countries like the US will lead to higher product sales, particularly of medium and heavy motorcycles, as economic conditions become more favorable and consumers begin to purchase these expensive, recreational items again.
Internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles will remain dominant in the world market will continue to dominate the global market. Product sales are projected to rise at a 7.9 percent annual rate through 2016, when they will account for 71 percent of total demand. Light motorcycles will post the greatest growth and remain the single largest ICE product segment in unit terms because they offer a mix of the best attributes of smaller (lower cost) and larger displacement models (more power). ICE motorbikes, scooters, and mopeds will be the second largest and second fastest growing ICE product segment, totalling approximately one-third of all product sales in 2016.
Market gains will be fueled by these products’ low cost and easy maneuverability in congested urban areas. Medium and heavy motorcycles will increase the slowest of all major product types and account for only three percent of 2016 unit sales (although they are much more significant in value terms).
E-bikes, e-cycles to pace gains in Asia/Pacific region. Sales of electric bicycles (e-bikes) and electric motorcycles (e-cycles) are forecast to grow roughly in line with the motorcycle demand as a whole. These products are most popular in the Asia/ Pacific region, and China in particular, which will account for nearly nine-tenths of the 2016 world e-bike and e-cycle sales total. In most other parts of the world, they will remain niche products that make up a relatively small share of motorcycle demand.