Recession & the Decline of Yamaha Motorcycle Sales
AllAboutBikes.com Staff Writer
Motorbike manufacturers are facing some difficult challenges now. The global recession has impacted nearly everyone around the world. All industries are struggling, and the motorcycle industry is no exception. While motocross and super sport events continue to be popular, Yamaha motorcycle sales in general have declined significantly in the first few months of 2009. In fact, Yamaha recently reported its first quarterly loss in more than four years. Most of Yamaha's sales are outside of Japan, so the fact that the Japanese Yen is relatively strong does not make a difference. The American and European economies are struggling to the point where Yamaha is taking losses.
After earning a net income of close to 4 billion Yen last year, Yamaha motorbikes actually lost money this year. How much? Well, the fourth quarter showed a loss of around 40 billion Yen. This was due to a roughly 10 percent drop off in sales. If you know much about business, then it is obvious that things do not bode well for a company taking such serious losses. Other companies like Honda and Harley Davidson are making some major adjustments in order to cope with the global economic recession. The market just is not what it used to be. People do not have the money that they did before to spend on motorcycles and sport bikes. It is clear that it will be a tough stretch for Yamaha and motorcycle manufacturers in general.
Some say that the huge abuses of the financial industry have lead to these problems for the motorcycle industry, and they certainly would be right to think this way. The products are great, but the market is not solid enough right now. It is not as if Yamaha and other manufacturers have lessened the value of the product, the fact is that people all over the world have lost money, housing, and jobs. When you do not have the money to keep your house, you will certainly not have money to purchase a bike. It should also be noted that new motorbike sales have declined in part because of the influx of used motorcycles into the market. People that need fast money sell their used motorbikes for bargain prices to get quick cash. Now is a good time to buy a used bike if you have the extra money, and that is not good for manufacturers.
There is hope for Yamaha and the rest of the motorcycle industry. It will take some time for the economy to get turned around, and things will get better once it does. Until then, motorbike manufacturers will need to make new plans and develop some innovative business models to stay afloat.