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Honda rules the world

The world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer just got a lot bigger and more profitable, as detailed by full-year results to 31 March 2018 from Honda. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Annual bike sales volume grew by 10.7% globally to an incredible 19.554 million units. Some 12.954 million of these were produced by wholly-owned subsidiaries, a 15.3% increase. Revenue from motorcycles was 18.8% up at a stupendous £13.405bn. Associated operating profit stacked on 56.4% to £1.756bn. Operating margin improved from 9.9% to 13.1%.

Honda’s largest and-fastest-growing market was India, where unit sales remorselessly expanded by 22.2% to 5.775 million. The brand therefore claimed a 28% share of approximately 20 million bikes bought by Indian consumers during the period. It also ramped up production capacity in India by 10.3% to 6.4 million machines per year and is now firmly established in second spot behind former joint-venture partner Hero MotoCorp – and catching up swiftly.

Domination was more extreme in other major Asian countries. Honda took a 75% share of the 5.9 million bikes sold to Indonesians, with products made by JV partner Astra. In Vietnam, it had 72% of 3.3 million. And in Thailand, the share was 80% of 1.8 million. Overall, Asia accounted for 17.72 million Honda-badged motorcycles and scooters, an 11.2% rise.

In the higher-yield developed world, progress was relatively modest but nevertheless strong. European sales advanced by 7.8% to 234,000 bikes. North America was 6.5% up to 313,000.   


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