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Honda on the up

Who says the motorcycle market's in decline?

HONDA has revealed that its motorcycle sales worldwide were up by 8.7% in 2013 compared to the previous year and that to meet the increased demand production also rose by nearly as much.

Overall, Honda sold 16,790,000 – yep, nearly seventeen million – bikes in 2013. And it made even more; 17,212,000 (8.1% more than it made in 2012).

Most markets saw rises in sales, with the 5.5% rise in North America showing that some confidence is perhaps returning to the ‘developed’ bike market. However, the biggest increase was in Asia and Oceania – with sales up 10.7%. That percentage figure belies the sheer size of that market, though; Honda’s sales there rose from 11.7 million to just under 13 million. In other words, the 2013 increase in that market alone accounted for more bikes than the total sold in North America, Europe and Japan combined. Sure, most were small, cheap bikes, with the low profit margins they represent, but the numbers are still mind-boggling.

The bad news is that there were still a couple of places where Honda’s sales dropped in 2013 and one of them was Europe, down 6.2% from 341,000 to 323,000. The other loser was Honda’s home market, Japan, which was down 1.2% at 219,000 sales compared to 221,000 in 2012.