Date posted on March 29, 2021
Motorcycle Manufacturers Ride Out Challenges During Pandemic, Projects Double Digit Growth in 2021
The Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, Inc. (MDPPA), is an association of motorcycle manufacturers in the Philippines.
With the Philippine economic performance hitting a record low of -9.5% GDP growth in 2020, the local motorcycle industry consequently saw a downward trend as the Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, Inc. (MDPPA) ended the previous year with a -29.2% sales growth. From total unit sales of 1,704,898 in 2019, it went down to 1,206,374 units in 2020. This is after consistently achieving double-digit sales performance figures in the past few consecutive years. After reaching its one-million-unit sales milestone in 2016, the MDPPA underwent a growth spurt and registered annual sales of 1.3 million and 1.6 million units in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Out of the MDPPA sales last year, more than half of the units sold were Automatic Transmission (AT) motorcycles. Most commonly known as scooters, these types of motorcycles initially gained popularity among first-time motorcycle buyers because of its ease of operation but recently it has also been in high demand in the delivery services industry. Despite the restrictions and economic hardships brought on by the pandemic, there were 671,664 new AT units sold, making up 56% of total sales in 2020.
Following at 29% are the Business Unit (BU) motorcycles, with 269,019 units sold. As the name suggests, motorcycle models in this segment are traditionally intended to be used for commercial purposes as majority of these units are converted into tricycle units to ferry passengers. Designed and developed by manufacturers with versatility and robustness in mind, a good number of BUs also take on heavy-duty delivery duties for courier companies and food establishments.
Mopeds (MP) make up 18% of last year’s sales with 216,858 units. Save for a few sport-oriented models, the MP or Commuter Underbone is the most affordable type of motorcycle in the local market. MP sales plateaued in the previous years before demand gradually declined. While this indicates motorcycle buyers’ capacity and willingness to spend more for technological features and convenience usage, the MP remains a most viable option in the price-sensitive commuter market segment.
Standard (ST) motorcycle models, on the other hand, sold conservatively at 44,769 units. Yet it saw a slight rise in market share going from 3% in 2019 to 4% last year. STs are considered as a step-up from the entry-level commuter bikes and, to some extent, an entry point to the Big Bike (BB) segment. BBs are high-displacement motorcycles that cater to the leisure rider market. 3,688 BB units were sold last year along with some 376 units of recreational off-road vehicles.
According to a recent position paper released by the University of the Philippines College of Public Health (UPCPH), motorcycles are generally a safer option for personal mobility during a pandemic, compared to taking public transport or riding in an enclosed private vehicle. Hence, the national government allowed the resumption of motorcycle taxi operations pending its legalization. The Department of Tourism also launched their Motourismo campaign to help kick start the local economy of some provinces through motorcycle tourism. With this, the MDPPA projects a 27% sales growth for 2021. Together with its member brands – Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha – the MDPPA stands firm in its commitment to provide safe and affordable mode of transportation to Filipino riders.
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