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At Largest Market: Two-wheeler sales crash to 10-year-low in FY22

By General Posts

Two-wheeler sales crash to 10-year-low in FY22; motorcycles fall below 9 mn
India is the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers and also the largest market for it. (China being second)

One of the primary reasons for this downfall is the spiraling cost of fuel prices.
by John from https://www.newswwc.com/

New Delhi: Rural distress impacted the Indian two-wheeler segment, one of the largest in the world, in a big way that their sales in 2021-22 fell sharply, for the first time in ten years, to 13,466,000 units, as per the latest data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). It was in 2011-2012 that the two-wheeler sales were close to this number at 13,409,00.

( India’s Financial Year is calculated as from 01-April-2021 to 31-March-2022 )

Throughout the year, demand for motorcycles and scooters was impacted by rural distress and higher ownership cost amidst soaring fuel prices. Sales of two-wheelers, particularly motorcycles failed to gather momentum even during the festive months, leaving the companies burdened with a pile of unsold stocks. As a result, the overall sales of motorcycles fell below the 9-lakh mark for the first time since 2016-2017, SIAM report said.

One of the primary reasons for this downfall is the spiraling cost of fuel prices. Barring two months, petrol prices escalated in almost all months of FY22, sometimes even thrice a month that severely impacted the demand of entry-level motorcycles which is the primary choice of the budget-conscious low-income consumers.

New motorcycle sales are directly correlated with fuel prices, as 62% of the country’s fuel sales are consumed by the two-wheeler segment.

According to market experts, spike in auto fuel prices has triggered the rate of deferment majorly among the consumers of below 125cc two-wheelers that hold about 80% of the total market. Besides, shortage of semiconductors and high container charges have also deterred the production levels of OEMs.

Besides, frequent price hikes by the OEMs to overcome the spike in input cost coupled with moderation in rural demand hugely deterred the buying sentiments of consumers.

Additionally, electric vehicle demand continues to witness pickup in the states with higher government incentives like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka etc., which are also key markets for conventional two-wheelers.

All the segments except the two wheelers are in green. Passenger vehicle sales grew 13.2% to 30,69,499 units in FY 22 compared to 27,11,457 units in FY21. Sales of passenger cars stood at 14,67,056 units, utility vehicles at 14,89,178 units and vans at 1,13,265 units.

As fuel prices skyrocket and concerns grow over the running cost of petrol and diesel vehicles, the electric vehicles market has quietly started to build up. As fiscal 2021-22 came to a close, the green brigade — still small in numbers — seems to be coming of age, also charged by government subsidies.

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Andy’s Harley-Davidson shuts down after 60 years of business

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by Jacob Holley from https://www.grandforksherald.com

Andy’s Harley-Davidson will close its doors in August after 60 years of business
Andy’s Harley-Davidson will close on Aug. 1 – its 60th anniversary of business.

Andy’s Harley-Davidson will be closing Aug. 1, its 60th anniversary, after the business struggled through the last year amid COVID-19.

The pandemic took its toll on the business in 2020, as customers were staying inside and not traveling. Owner Denny Anderson said the showroom floor was empty most days, but the service department was still drawing in customers. In fact, the service department was the only thing keeping the business afloat last year.

“There was hardly anybody coming in,” Anderson said. “Everybody was staying home, except for when people were sitting at home looking at their motorcycle sitting in their garage and probably wanted to get it going again.”

The business was started by Anderson’s father in 1961. Back then, it didn’t exclusively sell Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

“We sold Triumph and Norton motorcycles,” Anderson said. “We didn’t take Harley-Davidson on until 1975.”

Anderson began working at his father’s business in 1978. He started out by sweeping floors, then moved to stocking oil and then cleaning and working on motorcycles until he eventually took over ownership duties from his father.

The microchip shortage also had an impact on Andy’s Harley-Davidson. The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on the production of semiconductors, which are needed to make microchips. Microchips are needed to make motorcycles and many motorcycle accessories, which caused a shortage in stock. It has made selling to the few people who came into Andy’s Harley-Davidson even more difficult.

“It’s still difficult to get parts and accessories and (things like that),” Anderson said. “You can’t get something when somebody needs it, and sometimes they get a little upset. They’re kind of feeling that all over wherever they do business.”

With less money coming in and limited options, Anderson jumped at an opportunity; Harley-Davidson offered him a buyout, but he had to decide quickly. He spoke with his accountant, and that was all the deliberation he had time to do.

“I had less than a week to decide, otherwise the offer was off the table,” Anderson said.

He heard through rumblings of Harley-Davidson offering buyouts to other dealership owners in 2020 due to pandemic hardships, although the specifics of those buyouts are not publicly known.

“I caught wind of it through other dealers, and just inquired about it through our district manager,” Anderson said. “They kept it kind of quiet, which was kind of odd.”

Anderson said he wants potential customers to know he and his staff will do all they can to help any potential customers until Andy’s Harley-Davidson, located at 2756 N. Washington St., closes on Aug. 1. He is thankful for 60 years of support from Grand Forks citizens.

“I appreciate all of their business over the years,” Anderson said.

Harley-Davidson’s renewed focus on touring bikes drives upbeat forecast

By General Posts

by Reuters from https://www.investing.com

U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) on Monday reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast for sales growth, as its focus on bigger and profitable touring bikes boost demand, sending its shares up more than 8%.

Since the middle of last year, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company, which has struggled to grow sales for the past several years, shifted its focus to big bikes, traditional markets such as the United States and Europe, and older and wealthier customers.

In February, the motorcycle maker unveiled a new turnaround plan that targets low double-digit earnings growth through 2025.

The company said its retail sales, a measure of demand at its dealerships, surged 30% to 32,800 motorcycles in North America in its first quarter.

Retail sales in Europe, Harley’s second biggest market outside the United States, slumped 36% to 4,900 motorcycles, due to the company’s decision to stop selling its smaller and less profitable Street or Sportster motorcycles and shipping delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said lower sales incentives and a cut in its selling, general and administrative expense lifted its motorcycle business operating margin by over 10 points to 18.5%.

It now expects motorcycles business revenue to grow in the range of 30% to 35% in 2021, up from its prior estimate of between 20% and 25%.

Harley’s net income jumped over threefold to $259 million in the quarter ended March 28, from $70 million a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.68 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 88 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company’s revenue rose to $1.42 billion from about $1.30 billion.

How Hamba motorcycles are empowering women in Zimbabwe

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by Faith Ikade from http://venturesafrica.com/

Mobility for Africa is empowering women in rural Zimbabwe with new electric powered motorcycles that can be used as a source of income generation.

The electric motorbikes known as “Hamba” gives women the opportunity to transport and sell their goods, while saving time and effort usually spent walking to pick up household goods for their families around the district of Wedza.

Shantha Bloemen, Mobility for Africa Director said the initiative is centred on women, following research done by the organization which shows that men always get priority on transport. “These are women that never thought they would drive anything. The whole intent was to focus on where the burden is greatest, but also the lowest rural women are on the lowest peg of the pyramid,” she said.

Assembled in Zimbabwe’s capital city of Harare with parts made in China, Hamba is powered by a solar-charged lithium-ion battery and can travel up to around 60 miles per ride. Mobility for Africa is now in the second phase of the pilot project before it can go commercial.

The project was an adaptation to a similar bike used in China and was an important tool used to reduce poverty in the country. Several households and women could use the bike to transport items from their farm to a local market.

Hamba will be sold for $1,500 USD and changing the batteries at a solar-powered station costs between 50 cents and $1. However, Mobility for Africa is currently leasing the bikes to groups of up to five women for the equivalent of $15 a month, thereby making it affordable for poor women in Zimbabwe.

Women in Zimbabwe can now carry farm produce to markets further away from home, offer transportation services to villagers and use the motorcycle for domestic chores.

Small business owners like Mary Mhuka, who is leasing the Hamba with her daughter-in-law and a neighbour, can now sell vegetables at a business centre 15 km away for more money than she would get locally. “We used to carry firewood on our heads for very long distances but now it’s much easier as this motorcycle has taken away that burden,” she told Reuters

According to Fadzai Mavhuna, the Hamba pilot coordinator since February 2019, “Some of the women have increased their income because they have embarked on projects like baking, tailoring and horticulture.”

Hamba is also helping women in the health sector. Pamhidzai Mutunya, a farm health worker, said before the arrival of Hamba, many women gave birth at home while others had to walk 12 km to the nearest clinic because there was no transport.

More so, Hamba has proved to be an essential in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in Zimbabwe. It allows healthcare workers transport patients more easily, and helps rural communities receive essential supplies during a country-wide lockdown.

Although Zimbabwe has not recorded a large number of confirmed COVID-19 confirmed, the lockdown has affected people’s income, especially in the informal sector, which is commonly dominated by women.

Nevertheless, Hamba has given women in Zimbabwe an opportunity to earn and be empowered in a country faced with several sanctions alongside an economy which runs at a declining speed.