Virus Boosts Demand for Motorcycles and Scooters, Study Says

A global surge in demand for motorcycles and scooters is expected as a result of the pandemic, a study has revealed.

Frost and Sullivan’s analysis, COVID-19 Impact Assessment, Recovery Road, and Growth Opportunities for the Global Two-wheeler Industry, 2019–2025, suggests there is pent-up demand and a growing need for personal and cost-effective mobility solutions as consumers seek more virus-safe personal transportation. It says motorcycle sales across the world are rapidly gaining momentum, even faster than passenger vehicles.

The study examines the COVID-19 impact on production, sales, and OEM strategies and suggest that by 2025, the global two-wheel market is estimated to reach 63.9 million units from 56.1 million in 2019. It also suggests that traditional automakers could be looking at the motorcycle sector as a way of off-setting the decline in car sales as a result of the pandemic. It recommends:

  • Manufacturers should consider introducing advanced features in mass-market vehicles to increase penetration, especially in high-sales-volume markets. The majority of connected and rider safety technologies are primarily targeted at only the premium vehicles segment.
  • Automotive ecosystem players should capitalize on the opportunity to enable scaling up of micro-mobility and last-mile delivery services with lower delivery costs.
  • Manufacturers should launch vehicles before the growth phase for EVs and leverage existing vehicle platforms in EV manufacturing to accelerate development.
  • They should also prioritize digital tools to empower staff to build new customer touchpoints and enable a complete online customer journey from virtual showrooms and configurations to payments and delivery.
  • Automaker sales strategies should include new retail solutions, including subscription and leasing, as an integral part of the process as new customer demographics move toward asset-light models.

Viroop Narla, program manager, mobility practice at Frost and Sullivan, said: “South Asia’s dominance of the global two-wheel market is set to continue until 2025, with global sales expected to rise quickly. Even though the demand from ASEAN markets remains stable, the global unit sales share of Africa and South America will increase. EU-27, China, and some Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets could rebound faster than India, South America, and the majority of Asian countries where the pandemic is still a threat. By the end of 2020, China could overtake India and become the world’s biggest two-wheel market.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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