Honda Vietnam targets high motorcycle sales this year

Motorcycle producer Honda Vietnam has still set a record high sales target of 2.3 million motorcycles this year despite the current sluggish market caused by economic difficulties.

This target was announced by Koji Onishi, general director of Honda Vietnam, at the launching ceremony of a new version of motorcycle Wave 110RSX in HCMC yesterday. The target was set based on last year's figure which has been recorded as the highest since Honda entered Vietnam.

Last year, Vietnam's total consumption volume was recorded at 3.7 million units, up 22% against 2010, said Onishi. Specifically, Honda sold over 2.03 million motorcycles of all kinds, accounting for a market share of 61% among five foreign-invested motorcycle producers in Vietnam, the others being Yamaha and Suzuki from Japan, SYM from Taiwan and Piaggio from Italy.

 “The year 2011 was the first year that Honda obtained sales of over two million units since coming to Vietnam," said Onishi.

According statistics collected by the Daily, Honda Vietnam’s sales volume was over 1.72 million units in 2010 and around 1.43 million units in 2009.

Vietnamese have now tended to buy scooters. Honda Vietnam said its sale of scooters accounted for up to 38% of the total volume last year compared to only 10% in 2006, and the figure this year would increase to 40% of the total.

Although the motorcycle market is facing many difficulties under the impact the financial instability in Europe, Vietnam's increasing inflation and credit tightening at banks, Vietnam will still be a potential market, said Hiroshi Kobayashi, managing director cum chief operating officer of Japan's Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Therefore, Honda will continue to expand its business operations in Vietnam, its second largest motorcycle market, after Indonesia, Kobayashi said.

Honda has invested around US$500 million in its three motorcycle producing plants in Vietnam. In addition to supplying the domestic demand, Honda Vietnam has also exported sets of spare parts and components to regional countries such as Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines with 237,000 sets exported last year.

At the launch yesterday, Honda Vietnam introduced the new four-stroke motorcycle Wave 110RSX. This new version helps save the fuel by 3.5% compared to the old version and is sold at a suggested price of VND19.79 million or VND21.29 million, depending on specific types of brake.

Source: The Saigon Times Daily