AP Honda, a Japanese motorcycle maker, remains upbeat about its sales prospects this year despite total industry motorcycle sales shrinking in light of weakening domestic consumption and lower economic growth.
Suchart Arunsaengroj, the director of AP Honda Co, said its sales growth forecast remains at 6.04% to 1.58 million units this year, up from 1.49 million in 2012. Over the first seven months, Honda posted sales of 941,492 units, a rise of 5.87% from the same period last year.
"We remain optimistic that higher wages will help to drive our motorcycle sales," he said.
He forecast motorcycle sales for the overall market to remain stagnant at 2.1 million units this year, compared with 2.13 million last year.
Honda's latest report shows Thailand's motorcycle market posted a drop of 5.81% in July year-on-year to 176,862 units. Honda accounted for 131,422 units.
Of total motorcycle sales in July, 84,197 or 48% were family motorcycles. Automatic transmission motorcycles sold 78,261 units for 44%, while sport types accounted for 8,864 units or 5%. Another 5,540 units were other types of motorcycles, accounting for 3%.
Accumulated sales in the Thai motorcycle market this year recorded 1,274,352 units, down 1.5% year-on-year.
Mr Suchart said domestic motorcycle sales started dipping in May, losing 11.99% year-on-year, before shrinking 11.1% in June.
"Risk factors include the simmering political conflict and a weaker global economy, which is hurting consumer confidence," he said, adding that he is now sceptical about whether Thai motorcycle sales will exceed 2 million units in 2014 as he projected earlier.
"Sluggish consumption is expected to take a toll on domestic motorcycle sales in the third quarter, but demand will see seasonal growth in the fourth quarter."
About the author
- Writer: Piyachart Maikaew
Position: Business Reporter