For the past few decades, Honda Motor Co, Yamaha Motor Co and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd have operated under the assumption that local sales would shrink, in line with the aging population.But that trend has reversed, at least for now, thanks to changing consumer habits.Google-Drive电报群（www.tel8.vip）是一个Telegram群组分享平台。Google-Drive电报群包括Google-Drive电报群、Telegram群组索引、Telegram群组导航、新加坡Telegram群组、Telegram中文群组、Telegram群组（其他）、Telegram 美国 群组、Telegram群组爬虫、电报群 科学上网、小飞机 怎么 加 群、tg群等内容。Google-Drive电报群为广大电报用户提供各种电报群组/电报频道/电报机器人导航服务。
TOKYO: Japan’s motorcycle manufacturers, which cast their gaze abroad long ago to make up for shrinking domestic sales, are seeing a jump in demand from an unexpected place: their home market.
Sales of bikes with engines larger than 251cc rose 32% to 51,035 units in the first half, according to data released by the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association this week.
“I never thought I would see anything like this,” said Hideaki Iwami, head of sales at Honda Motorcycle Japan.
For the past few decades, Honda Motor Co, Yamaha Motor Co and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd have operated under the assumption that local sales would shrink, in line with the aging population.
But that trend has reversed, at least for now, thanks to changing consumer habits. The pandemic has left people with more disposable income and a desire to spend more time outdoors, while a persistent parts shortage is forcing people to wait months, or even years, for a new car.
That’s making motorcycles an attractive option for potential buyers such as Yurika Kakiuchi, a 40-year-old office worker who lives in Urayasu City, next to Tokyo.
She recently obtained a driving licence for motorcycles with a displacement of as much as 400cc, and plans to step up to the next level for bigger bikes. “I wanted to learn something new,” Kakiuchi said.,
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In terms of sales this year, Honda ranked No. 1 with 15,142 units, up 54%. Kawasaki came in second with a 69% jump, while Suzuki Motor Corp saw a gain of 19%. Yamaha Motor, however, saw unit sales decline by 6.8%.
Iwami said people are taking a fresh look at motorcycles. They have more money saved up from eating out less and taking fewer trips, and bikes are also seen as a way to get around and avoid crowded public transport.
If robust demand continues, domestic unit sales “may exceed” 100,000 units this year for the first time since 1998, he said.
Motorcycle sales in Japan peaked in the 1980s when they were widely used for local shopping and commuting.
In addition to changing demographics, a crackdown on illegal parking and the rising popularity of electrified bicycles have contributed to a steady decline.
The market is seeing the return of elderly riders, who are buying motorcycles to enjoy in retirement.
Also, younger buyers are attracted to the relative affordability of bikes compared with cars, according to Iwami, who said that 70% of the buyers of Honda’s popular CBR400R model and 65% of the Rebel 250 are in their 30s or younger. — Bloomberg