A recent report from Krungsri Research estimates that Thai motorcycle production will increase by 2-4% to 2.10-2.15 million units in 2019, thanks to increasing demand coming from both the domestic and foreign markets. The sales volume in 2020 and 2021 will stay around 1.84-1.9 million motorcycles.
The return to growth in the domestic market, following a 1.2% drop in domestic sales volumes during 2018, is supported by a program to assist motorcycle taxi drivers by providing a loan to buy a new motorcycle. The Thai motorcycle sector has traditionally focused on producing for the domestic market, which takes up 80% of all output by volume.
However, exports have been growing in recent years as a percentage of total production. Around 23% of Thailand’s motorcycle exports by value went to neighboring countries in South East Asia in 2018, while USA, EU and Japan accounted for 14.5%, 33.2% and 8.7% respectively. Export value dropped by 1.4% during 2018. During 2019, exports are forecast to rise by 2-4%. Completely built-up units are expected to grow at a faster pace once Harley-Davidson starts up its assembly line in Rayong, using Thailand as an export hub for China and South East Asia.
As of 2018, Thailand hosted 12 motorcycle factories, Manufacturing bikes for 14 brand names, including Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki which accounted for around 90% of the total output. They had total production capacity of 3.66 million units per year.
(Source: Bangkok Post; Krungsri Research)