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Japanese Motorcycle Manufacturers Coming Back With Improved Economy

It seems the motorcycle business is coming back, and that usually means the economy in general is due for an uptick. Sales of Triumph and Harley-Davidson motorcycles are strong, but the real leader of the pack is the Japanese manufacturers.

Motorcycle sales from Japanese manufacturers in 2011 resulted in the export of 164,875 motorcycles to the U.S., an increase of 87.2 percent compared to the year before. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the same companies exported 53,342 units to the U.S., a year-to-year increase of 86.9 percent. Exports increased for the first three quarters of the year: 81.1 percent, 105 percent and 82.7 percent, and those are some heartening numbers for the industry in general. The figures come courtesy of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and are reported from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.

Japanese motorcycle makers didn’t fare quite as well in Canada, to which they shipped 14,353 units – a decrease of 21.0 percent.

JAMA reported total motorcycle production in Japan was 638,987 units, which compares to the 664,175 units recorded for the 2010 year, a decrease of 25,188 units, or 3.8 percent. The production drop follows an upturn from last year.

Motorcycle makers exported 504,985 units from Japan to all parts of the world in 2011, and that’s an increase of 2.3 percent. Good news following four years of declines, and the U.S. share of exports shot up to 32.6 percent from 17.8 percent the previous year.

Total motorcycle production in Japan by manufacturer in 2011:

  • Honda, 200,493 (down 0.3 percent)
  • Suzuki, 160,200 (down 4.4 percent)
  • Yamaha, 162,821 (down 10.9 percent)
  • Kawasaki, 115,420 (up 2.4 percent)

Total motorcycle exports from Japan to countries worldwide by manufacturer in 2011:

  • Honda, 121,914 (up 14.6 percent)
  • Suzuki, 116,273 (up 2.7 percent)
  • Yamaha, 157,731 (down 4.3 percent)
  • Kawasaki, 109,067 (about the same as last year)

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