Philippines sees growing acceptance of Chinese-made motorcycles


By Chen Long  


THE Chamber of Assemblers and Manufacturers of Motorcycles in the Philippines (CHAMMP) is eyeing to improve its sales by 30 percent this year, banking on the growing local acceptance of Chinese-branded motorcycles and increasing consumer demand.


It’s true that there are very affordable cars nowadays, but we, in the motorcycle industry, are banking on the convenience of it. A lot of parts in the country are still not developed as far as the roads are concerned, so the convenience of the motorcycles is still very much viable, and will not be affected by more affordable cars,” said Juan Enrico Quisumbing, newly elected president of CHAMMP, in an interview with reporters.


The nine Chinese motorcycle brands belonging to CHAMMP were able to sell 386,000 units in 2014, with 80 percent of the demand coming from provincial areas, added Joseph Sison, outgoing president of CHAMMP in the same interview.


This year CHAMMP is vying for a sales target of 500,000 units.


Sales have room to grow as motorcycle ownership in the Philippines has a population ratio of 1:5. In contrast, Indonesia’s is 2:1.


An encouraging trend for CHAMMP is the acceptability of Chinese brands by motorists as they begin to see the homogeneity of the products.


One of our goals in the chamber is to police ourselves and police our industry. We want to do away with the negative stereotypes of China-made motorcycles,” Quisumbing said.


The CHAMMP officials estimate the price offerings of their brands as almost 50-percent cheaper than those offered by Japanese counterparts—represented by Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association members, such as Honda and Kawasaki.


Despite the more competitive price offering of CHAMMP, in terms of sales, Japanese brands still take a larger cut of the whole, accounting for 60 percent of the market.


The entire market demand for motorcycles was estimated to be almost a million in 2014. CHAMMP is confident this can be easily balanced within a few years.


After a few years and given we achieve our goals, we’d like the share to be 50-50. The market is big, and there’s space for all players,” Quisumbing said.


Asean Automotive Federation (AAF) statistics showed the Philippines’s motorcycle and scooter sales amounted to 850,509 units in 2015, a 7.6-percent increase over 2014’s sales of 790,245 units.


The Philippines is the only Asean nation among the five tracked by the AAF that registered a positive sales growth in 2015.


Thailand’s sales contracted by -3.7 percent; Malaysia’s declined by -14 percent; Singapore’s sales decreased by -8.4 percent, while Indonesia’s sales, the biggest motorcycle market in Asean, shrunk by -15.2 percent.


A similar trend was observed in terms of production: Only the Philippines grew its production of motorcycles in 2015 by 5.4 percent. Other markets reduced production: Indonesia’s decreased by -28.1 percent, Malaysia’s by -13.1 percent, while Thailand’s production was downgraded by -1.9 percent.

May 10, 2016