Business

Honda eyes larger share
in premium bike market

Motorcycle manufacturer PT Astra Honda Motor (AHM) launched its sporty new entry in the Honda CBR series on Thursday, which is intended to strengthen its foothold in the premium sport bike market.

“The launch of the new CBR150R is our strategy to strengthen our image in the premium sport bike market. It was developed to inspire Grand Prix racing in riders,” Yusuke Hori, Astra Honda Motor (AHM) president director, said.

In February, Honda launched another model, the CBR250R, which has already sold more than 3,000 units in the first three months. Honda also has other sport bike models, including the Honda Tiger and Honda Megapro.

AHM lists its CBR150R for Rp 33 million (US$3,861) per unit and the CBR250R for Rp 39.9 million
per unit.

In the premium sport bike category in Indonesia, Honda’s CBR series has a strong competitor in the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, which sells for about Rp 44 million per unit.

“The market for sport bikes is growing,” said Kojiro Iguchi, AHM’s marketing director, adding that Honda expected to sell 2,000 CBR150R units per month.

According to an AHM press release, sport bike sales contributed about 10 percent to the total national motorbike market.

During the January-May period, domestic sport bike sales reached 280,136 units, up 35 percent from the same period last year.

During the same period, Honda sold 107,687 sport bikes, up 42 percent from the 76,070 sport bikes it sold last year.

Honda also sold 377,000 automatic transmission (AT) motorbikes in May, 53.4 percent of the total
market share based on the Indonesian Motorcycles Industry Association (AISI).

In June, Honda sold more than 360,000 units, pushing its total sales for the first half of the year to 2.1 million units.

“As a result, Honda’s market share has surpassed 51 percent. The gap with our competitors is getting wider every month,” Hori said.

Hori added that Honda had accelerated construction on its new plant in Cikarang, West Java, to fulfill the domestic demand. The new plant, expected to begin operations by the end of July, could produce 500,000 units per year.

With the upcoming new plant and several new efficiency programs, Honda revised its sales target for this year to 4.3 million units, an increase of 300,000 units from the targeted 4 million units that was set earlier this year.

Hori said that Honda would launch other new models this year as well. “We decided to choose Indonesia as [the CBR150R’s] world-debut site,” he said.

According to AISI as quoted by Kontan online, 2011 motorbike sales from January to May reached 3.4 million, up 15 percent from 2.9 million in the same period last year.

Honda led the market with a 50.95 percent market share, followed by Yamaha (41.37 percent), Suzuki (6.21 percent), Kawasaki (1.17 percent) and TVS (0.28 percent).

AISI projected total motorbike sales to increase by 10 percent to between 8.2 million and 8.4 million this year, up from 7.6 million units in 2010. (swd)

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