With cities and villages around the country clogged by devil-may-care bikers, it may come as a surprise that motorcycle sales tumbled by about 16 percent in the first half in 2009. The decline, however, represents improved performance compared with sales of cars and commercial vehicles, which slumped 27 percent in the same period.
Figures from the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI) show that 485,174 motorcycles were sold in June, up 6 percent on the previous month. Total sales in the first half of the year was 2.55 million units, compared with 3.05 million in the same period last year.
Armando Lung, marketing director of Bussan Auto Finance, which provides loans for the purchase of Yamaha motorcycles, said on Thursday that demand had fallen less than for cars as motorcycle prices had not increased by as much. Lower interest rates over the last few months have also helped. “When the rupiah weakened due to the crisis, motorcycle manufacturers had to raise their prices, but not as much as cars. The rise was probably less than 5 percent, meaning that it would have only been about Rp 200,000 [$20] to Rp 300,000 on average in real terms,” Armando said.
He said Bussan had lowered its loan rates by 6 percent since October. “Our effective loan rate is currently 28 percent, which is fine for the motorcycle financing industry.”
More than 65 percent of motorcycles are purchased on credit.
With major holidays like Idul Fitri and Christmas still to come, he predicted that this year’s sales target was likely to be exceeded. Due to the crisis and eroded purchasing power, AISI had earlier forecast sales of five million units compared with six million last year.
In June, competition between Honda and Yamaha remained tight, with Yamaha enjoying a slight lead with 218,614 units sold, against 216,876 for Honda, followed by Suzuki with 42,425, Kawasaki with 7,009 and local brand Kanzen with only 250 units.
Overall during the first half, Honda and Yamaha held 45.9 percent and 45.1 percent market shares, respectively.
Bank Indonesia’s consumer confidence index in June showed that more people were planning to buy durable goods than in the previous period, with its Index of Durable Goods Purchases rising 3.5 points to 78 - readings of over 100 reflect optimism, while those below that level reflect pessimism.