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At 70, Honda hits a milestone of 400mn motorcycles

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Honda currently produces a wide range of motorcycles, from 50cc commuters to 1,800cc models, at 35 facilities in 21 countries.

Japanese automaker Honda has produced 400 million units of motorcycles globally since it had begun production in 1949 with its maiden Dream D-Type bike.

According to the company, it achieved 100 million-unit milestone in 1997, and 300 million-units in 2014. In 2018, Honda exceeded an annual production of 20 million units for the first time in its history, and enjoyed strong support from customers in the Asia region and worldwide, it said.

Honda currently produces a wide range of motorcycles, from 50cc commuters to 1,800cc models, at 35 facilities in 21 countries.

Honda was founded in 1948, and began mass-production of motorcycles at its first overseas production facility in Belgium in 1963. Since then, Honda has expanded its production globally in accordance with its fundamental principle of producing locally where there is demand.

Honda will continue to construct its development and production structure to meet rising demand, it said.

Takahiro Hachigo, Chief Executive Officer, Honda Motor said, “For 70 years, Honda has provided to customers worldwide motorcycles that make life easier and enjoyable. As a result, we have achieved our 400 million-unit milestone. I am grateful to all of our customers, and everyone involved in development, manufacturing, sales and service of our products. We will continue to do our best to provide attractive products that meet the needs and dreams of our customers worldwide.”

Honda would strive to realize its 2030 vision, to serve people worldwide with the “joy of expanding their life’s potential,” he added.

Honda Rolled Out Its 400 Millionth Motorcycle Since 1949

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by Sabrina Giacomini from https://www.rideapart.com

Honda is one of the few companies still active today that started its life as a motorcycle manufacturer. In 1949, newly-founded company rolled out the Dream D-Type, the firm’s first proper motorcycle. Fast-forward seven decades and Honda remains to this day one of the most recognized brand names in the industry. The company reached several important milestones in 2019, including the production of its 400 Millionth motorcycle.

It looks like 2019 has been a good year for Honda. Not only did the company introduce several new bikes that received a lot of attention (Fireblade, CT125, Africa Twin, etc.), 2019 is also the year we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the birth of the Japanese superbike, a milestone set by the introduction of the Honda CB750 Four in 1969.

To wrap things up on a high note, the company has now announced the production of its 400 Millionth motorcycle. Considering the manufacturer produces the best-selling motorcycle in the world, the Super Cub, it kind of makes sense. In 2017, Honda celebrated the production of 100 Million Super Cubs which means the model alone accounts for over a quarter of the motorcycles produced by Honda since its inception.

For reference, it took almost 20 years for the company to reach its first 10M units produced. Motorcycles are now being produced at a rate of roughly 20M a year. How the times and the industry have changed! The previous turning point was reached in 2014 when the counter reached 300 Million. It took only five years to add another 100M to its records.

India and Indonesia account for over 50 percent of that production (no big surprise there). What about the U.S.? It doesn’t even have its own share of the chart. It’s included in the “Other” slice of the pie, along with Europe, which accounts for 620 000 units between April 2018 and March 2019.

Happy anniversary, Honda, and here’s to another 400 Million bikes!

E-bikes to rule the US EV market in next decade

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In the last couple of years, e-bike sales have been growing steadily in the US, but they still represent a small part of the overall segment in the country.

Electric vehicle market in the US in the next decade will be dominated by e-bikes, claims a media report. It forecasts a total of 113 million e-bikes will be sold in the country between 2020-2023.

Sales of the electric bikes in the US have grown more than eight-fold since 2014, claims the report further.

In the last couple of years, sales of e-bikes have been growing steadily in the US, but they still represent a small part of the overall bike segment in the country. As the report claims, e-bike sales jumped by an incredible 91 per cent from 2016 to 2017. Also, it grew 72 per cent from 2017 to 2018 to reach $143.4 million, as revealed by market research firm NPD Group.

Between 2006 and 2012, e-bikes represented less than 1 per cent of total annual bike sales. In 2013, US customers bought 1.85 lakh e-bikes, while across all of Europe, 1.8 million units were retailed.

The media report quotes Jeff Loucks, executive director of Deloitte’s Technology, Media, and Telecommunications centre, who said that e-bike sales will not increase evenly across the US. He forecasts cities, in particular, will see the biggest adoption rates.

As he said, “We’re seeing more people move into the urban core of cities throughout the United States. And it’s just going to put a huge load on the roadways and on public transportation systems if some of that isn’t taking place by bike.”

from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com/

Does Indian Motorcycle Have a Harley-Davidson Problem?

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by Rich Duprey from https://www.fool.com/

Sales remained aloft longer than its rival, but now even its sales are falling.

As much as falling motorcycle sales at Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) have been attributed to its core customer aging out of the market while the next generation of riders seems uninterested in buying the big bikes it produces, Indian Motorcycle sidestepped most of the same pitfalls even though it produces many of the same kinds of motorcycles as Harley does.

Since being resurrected from bankruptcy by Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII) and returned to the market in 2014, Indian has been a steady performer with retail sales often rising in the double-digit percentages. That has allowed it to steal market share from Harley, whose sales often contracted at similar percentages.

Yet with Polaris’ third-quarter earnings report released last month, investors may have to accept that Indian Motorcycle now has its own Harley-Davidson problem.

A worsening sales decline
Polaris Industries is not transparent at all when it comes to telling you how its motorcycle business is performing. Where Harley breaks down sales and shipments by geographic region and type of motorcycle, Polaris provides vague percentage increases or declines, maybe calling out a model once in a while, but never giving investors any real insight into how Indian’s various motorcycles are performing.

What we do know is that despite double- and even triple-digit sales growth early on, Indian Motorcycle sales are now quickly spiraling down. Even as Polaris obscures the actual numbers, a mid-teen-percentage decline in retail sales that far eclipses the contraction of the broader motorcycle market suggests that this is becoming a big problem for the bike maker.

Worse, the downdraft is accelerating. In the second quarter, Polaris said Indian retail sales were down by almost 10%, while in the first quarter they were down by high single-digit rates. In last year’s fourth quarter they were down by low double-digit amounts, which was a big drop since they had been positive the quarter before.

That doesn’t bode well for when Polaris reports results the next time around. Even though the bar has been lowered considerably on sales, there’s no reason to think it will be able to rebound — precisely because Indian is still making the same kinds of heavy, big-bore bikes as Harley.

It just released its newest touring motorcycle, the 2020 Challenger, that houses its bigger, more muscular liquid-cooled PowerPlus engine that evokes images of Harley’s Road Glide.

Looking to reverse direction
Certainly both bike makers are hoping to change the equation. Harley has gone all-in on electric motorcycles — a field Polaris rejects, saying they’re unprofitable — along with two new styles it recently unveiled that represent a big change for the bike maker: the Bronx streetfighter and the Pan America adventure bike. They’re smaller, lighter, and meant for a different kind of riding than typified by Harley’s cruisers.

Polaris has also introduced a new bike, the FTR 1200, which was inspired by its racing team’s success on the flat-track circuit. While many enthusiasts had hoped for a street version of the FTR 750 that was tearing up the track, Polaris came out with a somewhat bigger, more powerful bike that it also hopes changes the conversation about its products.

But the introduction of the FTR 1200 was flawed in several respects. Polaris was late to market with the bike, so it missed a good part of the sales season, and then misjudged demand for the different models, believing more buyers would want the base model when in reality there was higher demand for the race replica version.

The new model helped lift international sales in the quarter, but it may be a while before we see any impact here at home. Motorcycle sales typically dry up during the winter months, and it’s still unknown what kind of demand will be there come the spring.

The outlook isn’t bright for biking
Polaris Industries, unlike Harley, is more than just a motorcycle maker. It also makes side-by-side recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, utility vehicles, and more recently boats. They help the powersports vehicle maker smooth out sales over the year. And motorcycles only account for 9% of total revenue.

Yet with motorcycle sales deepening even further into the red, Indian is mimicking the worst aspects of its rival at just the wrong time, and its problem could only get worse.

Lyft to pull plug of e-scooter business in six cities, laying off 20 employees

By General Posts

The six cities are Nashville, San Antonio, Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas and Columbus, as the media report claims.

Lyft has notified its employees about discontinuing its e-scooter business in six cities, claims a media report. Also, the company is claimed to be laying off at least 20 employees from the bike and scooter team, where around 400 people currently work.

The six cities are Nashville, San Antonio, Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas and Columbus, as the media report claims.

The report further quotes a Lyft spokesperson saying, “We’re choosing to focus on the markets where we can have the biggest impact. We’re continuing to invest in growing our bike and scooter business, but will shift resources away from smaller markets and toward bigger opportunities.”

Addition to the 20 Lyft employees, a number of contractors responsible for scooter charging and their repositioning will also lose jobs. Previously, Lyft laid off around 50 people this year, claims the report.

Lyft is not the only company to pull out from the micro-mobility segment, as earlier this year, Uber too announced the discontinuation of Jump bikes and scooters from a number of select markets including San Diego, Providence and Atlanta.

Lyft currently operates its scooters in cities like Arlington, Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Oakland, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Monica and Washington DC, informs the report further.

The Tune-up Bikernet Weekly News for November 7, 2019

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I’m going to be glad when this year is toast

By Bandit, Wayfarer, Rogue, Jim Houck, Laura, the Redhead, Sam, RFR, Bob T. and the rest of the gang

Okay, just relax. That’s the name of my accountant’s business. Shit is happening fast on most fronts and I’m going to Deadwood to relax and slip in the snow.

There’s a side of me that wants to find a place in the Midwest, where I can chill and breathe in the home of the old west and the center of the Chopper World. Motorcycles have always been my home. I like the sound of Bandit in the Badlands.

Let’s hit the news.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWS IN THE CANTINA

Join the Cantina today

Harley-Davidson’s stock falls after KeyBanc turns bearish, citing competition from Polaris’s Challenger bike

By General Posts

Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc. HOG, -1.22% fell 0.7% in morning trading Monday, after KeyBanc Capital analyst Brett Andress turned bearish on the motorcycle maker, citing concerns over competition from Polaris Inc.’s PII, +1.85% Indian brand of bikes.

Andress cut his rating on Harley’s stock to underweight, after being at sector weight since August 2017, and set his price target at $33, which is 15.5% below current levels.

“Indian’s new Challenger bike is aimed squarely at [Harley’s] dominant Road Glide ([about] 80% share of 32K-unit market),” Andress wrote in a note to clients. “Indian introduced the Challenger bike on Oct. 29 to immediate fanfare and, on paper, the bike surpasses its competition in almost every important metric (primarily a new liquid-cooled engine), a setup we view as likely to disrupt a rather complacent status quo.”

Polaris’s stock rose 0.9% in morning trading. Andress estimates the new competition could drive an earnings-per-share headwind of about 25 cents. Harley’s stock has rallied 14.5% year to date, while Polaris shares have surged 30.4% and the S&P 500 SPX, +0.37% has gained 23.0%.

Bajaj made Triumph motorcycles launch in 2022 – Will also be exported

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by Nithyanandh Karupp from https://www.rushlane.com

Could be called Bajaj Avenger 400 / 500 upon launch in India.

Over the years, Bajaj Auto has created a solid export operation which has proved to be quite useful when the domestic market undergoes a rough patch such as the ongoing one. About 40% of Bajaj Auto’s production is shipped out of the country to around 80 markets worldwide. With its partnership with British sportsbike brand Triumph, Bajaj is looking to further improve those export statistics.

The Pune-based two wheeler maker had announced a non-equity partnership with Triumph Motorcycles in August 2017 and is currently in the process of finalizing the finer details of the agreement. Things should start materializing from end-2019 and we are expecting the first product to be born out of this partnership to be ready in the next 3 years.

Bajaj will take the responsibility of manufacturing the products at its facility in a cost effective manner while its British partner will be in charge of engineering and development. Needless to say, the platforms developed under this partnership will spawn both Bajaj and Triumph branded motorcycles.

The made-by-Bajaj Triumph compact displacement motorcycles will be exported to several markets including the US, Europe and Japan. This was revealed by Rajiv Bajaj at a recent event in Delhi.

With small displacement sportsbike segment steadily gaining popularity across the world, adding Triumph to its production portfolio is expected to boost Bajaj’s already strong export operations significantly. Details regarding body styles and displacements of Bajaj-Triumph products are still under wraps but expect them cater to sub-500cc category.

With the KTM Duke and RC ranges, Bajaj Auto has successfully demonstrated its capability to manufacture compact premium motorcycles that can hold their own in international markets. With well established vendor base and know-how of premium product production, the company can easily manage compact displacement Triumphs. It is to be noted that Bajaj is also gearing up to manufacture and export Huqsvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 street fighters.

Bajaj is also upbeat about the domestic electric two wheeler market which is expected to flourish in the coming years. The recently Chetak electric scooter will be spearheading the brand’s electric charge while more such products are in the pipeline. Bajaj is also developing an premium EV platform with KTM for international markets. Qute electric has also been spied on test ahead of launch.

Mahindra buys 100 percent stake in Peugeot Motorcycles

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by Nabanita Singha Roy from https://www.rushlane.com

The brand will launch 7 products in the next two years.

Mahindra Two Wheelers acquired 51% equity stake in Peugeot Motorcycles in 2015 in a bid to establish its presence in the European scooter market. In addition to investing 13 million pounds (Rs 109 crores) in purchasing the shares owned by the French automaker Groupe PSA, the Indian conglomerate invested a further 15 million pounds to empower Peugeot’s product development.

Mahindra Two Wheelers Europe has announced that it will acquire complete ownership of PMTC for an undisclosed amount. Since the initial investment, Peugeot Motorcycles has been showing positive momentum.

The brand’s Kisbee 50 cc moped emerged as the best selling model in its segment in Europe while the flagship Metropolis three-wheeled scooter is enjoying increasing demand in both its home market and in China. The newly launched Peugeot Urban GT maxi-scooter is also doing well in its target markets.

By acquiring 100% stake in the French scooter brand, Mahindra is hoping to drive further growth in Europe and select Asian markets. The company has also announced that Peugeot will introduce seven new products by 2021.

As a part of license arrangement with PMTC’s erstwhile parent company, Mahindra will continue to use the Peugeot branding on scooters. The Peugeot design team will continue to be involved in designing of the two wheelers.

With European countries looking at ways to decongest the city centers, more and more urban commuters are expected to switch to two wheelers. Fresh investment in Peugeot Motorcycles at this point of time is expected to help the brand increase its market share in Europe and expand into new markets.

Having complete control on the operations would help Mahindra Two Wheelers take strategic decisions without any opposition. For example, the company could decide to manufacture select Peugeot branded scooters at its heavily under-utilized Pithampur plant in MP for select markets. This would also lower the cost of manufacturing.

As far as launch plans in India are concerned, MTWL has been evaluating Peugeot’s premium scooter lineup ever since the initial investment was made but no concrete plan has materialized so far. The success of Aprilia in the Indian premium scooter segment should encourage Mahindra to introduce Peugeot products. We will know in the coming months.

Harley-Davidson beats forecasts as international sales rebound

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by Rachit Vats, Ankit Ajmera from https://www.reuters.com

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) beat expectations for profit on Tuesday and stuck to its full-year shipment forecast, allaying fears of another major hit from European import tariffs and a further slump in sales in its main U.S. market.

Shares of the company rose as much as 8.8% to $40.36, as it posted the first rise in international sales in a year during the third quarter and a 3.6% dip in U.S. retail motorcycle sales – the smallest decline in nearly three years.

Profits continued to sink – by 24% – but the results offered some hope that one of the biggest names in motorcycles was finally beginning to arrest a slide in global sales that it has been fighting for years.

Sales in the world’s biggest motorcycle markets in Asia, which Harley has targeted with smaller bikes that go against its traditional profile, rose 8.7% in the quarter and are up about 1.6% this year overall.

The company plans to source half of its revenue from overseas by 2027 and international retail sales rose 2.7% to 23,619 motorcycle in the quarter.

While worldwide shipments fell 5.8% to 45,837 motorcycles, they topped analysts’ estimates by over 1,000 motorcycles, and the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company stuck to its 2019 shipment target of 212,000 to 217,000 bikes.

“As we look to the remainder of 2019, we are encouraged by the momentum of retail sales trends through the first nine months of this year but also recognize substantial headwinds that we continue to face,” Chief Financial Officer John Olin said.

The company is also cutting spending and said it now expects 2019 capital expenses of $205 million to $225 million, about $20 million less than its previous estimates.

Excluding items, the company earned 70 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations of 52 cents while revenue from motorcycles and related products overall fell 4.9% to $1.07 billion.

The company, which has been criticized by President Donald Trump for its plan to shift some U.S. production overseas, has also been battling the effects of trade tensions on its business globally.

Harley said on Tuesday retaliatory import duties imposed by the European Union and China on its bikes would cost the company about $105 million in 2019, up from its prior estimate of $100, with about $90 million of the hit coming from EU tariffs.

Brussels in June raised import duties on U.S.-manufactured Harley bikes to 31% from 6%, and the company said the impact from tariffs more than doubled in the third quarter from a year ago to $21.6 million.

In response, Harley plans to begin shipping bikes from its Thailand plant but a delay in regulatory approval from the trading bloc means it will not see any benefit in earnings before the second quarter of 2020.