End of the Harley dream in thailand ????

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by monsterman, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    was having dinner with Chueng who is a major importer of Grey market bikes yesterday in Bang Saen ,,, he says that so far the so called government crackdown has not really affected the big grey importers as much as lack of customers (Farang) and changing tastes ........ ,there is still a niche to fill with parts, spares etc even the Big bike availability of new Hondas ,Kwaks and Ducati leaves big gaps in the market .....

    no the biggest issue is changing tastes especially the fall off in HD sales ,he said that between him and other importers and dealers that there are more than 400 late model HDs sitting around in showrooms on consignment and warehouses unsold ,thats a lot of capital tied up and losses ,,expecially big Bagger models , i have seen this in Pattaya , one local thai dealer had 6 mint baggers in stock and he said he has not sold one for 18months , priced from 650,000 up for 2003 models low mileage ,,,,,, sportster models still selling well though,

    There is a lack of western farang buyers Eurpoeans and yanks due to economic woes , and the Thais have moved on to new Trends and fads ,,,,,,, sales of big Suzuki GSXRs, Hayabusas ,R1 s are good as The Russians love em so he is bringing in more of them ,he also said less BMWs are being sold as demand from Thais has dropped off due to Trends but also issues with UNRELIABILTY and servicing issue s

    I asked him why there are not more small chopper style bikes available like Shadow 750 or 600 as Thais still like the smaller size , he said sourcing these bike is difficult as most are sold in USA and people hang on to them ,,,,also triumphs , every bonneville he gets his hands on has a waiting list ,,,as do Kawasaki W650s or w800s retros ,,,

    so its not all bad news ,,,,,but I can confirm that the HD craze in Thailand is fading ,, all 3 of the big pattaya dealers are addmitting very slow sales over the last 2 years . A quick estimate of available HD bikes for sale in pattaya alone came to 84 HDs ,,,
     
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  3. Hmmm..... Don't know if I would agree with you there mate..... more and more Thai's are finding they can afford a Harley now and you see many more on the roads compared to 5 years ago.
    Thailand is flooded with imported Harleys..... it's not no-one is buying..... it's that there are so many that of course dozens will sit in showrooms, unloved and unsold!
    I think the thing putting so many people off is the grey book/tabieng suam thing, and also that big baggers are not at the moment fashionable. I'm actually taking the top box and fairing lowers off my Ultra to see if I can get any more interest in it, but at the moment, as you stated, Sporty's and bobbers are selling, big baggers aint.
    Thailand will never run out of bike clubs wanting Harleys...... and there are new Harley bike shops opening all the time. It's just that right now, supply has far outstripped demand due to the high number of units here.
     
  4. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    Interesting point about the tabien - maybe people got tired of the unreliability of grey bike registrations?

    I for one have my story to tell and swore that I rather ride a push bike than trust any of these "importers" again to get my bike legal after they promised it and I paid for it.

    How many people considered a grey-import Harley and then settled for a legal NC700 or CB500X?
     
  5. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    well Cheung is of the opinion that its a fad thing with the Thais , as he know his trade , i have been taking a british mate around all the dealers as he is buying a bike and i reckon at least 50% of the Hds we have looked at are already legal with green books from bangkok ,,,,It really is a buyers market though he is spoiled for choice , he has deciided on a USA import 2009 Bagger with only 16,020 miles for 770,000 baht , off a dealer in Chonburi with full registration its like new ....
     
  6. Marmite

    Marmite Member

    Maybe people here don't want to spend their money on archaic rubbish?
     
  7. lordofthedreadz

    lordofthedreadz Ol'Timer

    Seeing that for these prices you can have very decent new bikes with warranty, insurance, good service and so on there is no surprise people are thinking twince before buying an HD.
     
  8. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Well I have to agree with Chiang_Mai_Martin on this one! If anything Harley Sales are increasing and the Only Licensed Harley Dealers in Bangkok confirm Sales are Rising! They Plan to Open New Branches in the North and Easarn! Maybe the "Grey" Importers are finding it Tuff and Rightfully So! They are 100.000 Baht Cheaper but No Warranty, Free Servicing or interest Free Payment Deals!!! I know which one I would Choose and I did!!! I was Just back in NZ and Harley Davidson are Now the 2nd Biggest Selling Bike Brand!!! I do agree they Are Excessively Expensive at the Moment but it doesn't seem to have affected Sales?
     
  9. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Nothing to do with the topic of this thread but following Ian's comment from his NZ experience, I was told recently by senior managers in the motorcycle industry that the two biggest 'big bike' dealerships in the world are concidently both in Brazil of all places. One being BMW and the other Harley Davidson.
    In the same conversation I was enlightened that the industry classify BIG BIKES as those with an engine over 500cc.
    Something to throw into beerO'Clock conversation.
     
  10. finnomick

    finnomick Ol'Timer

    I don't suppose it'll be very long before someone shifts the " largest big bike " dealership back to the usa -- can't be seen to be outdone. The reason Brazil probably has the largest Harley-Davidson dealership is that now the Harley-Davidson assembly plant is online in Brazil, they no longer have any inherant problems importing from America or India. Now, if only they had chosen Thailand as their latest assembly line.....
     
  11. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    I see it this way: the lack of customers has been brought on by the crackdown on grey-imports.

    Harleys have always - and I guess always will - had their trusty fans and buyers; I don't think tastes just change. If you are into Harleys you don't buy a 900cc Kawasaki cruiser or a NC700X.

    For decades these grey-importers have made good money; now that things change and people can buy more and more legal big bikes for acceptable prices and hopefully can get decent service, grey imports are a thing of the past.
    If the business would have been handled better I'd feel sorry for these guys but I am only one of many who have been ripped off by these guys. I was promised a recycled green book, paid half up front, then it wasn't possible to get it until I paid the other half, then nothing happened. Had to threaten with legal action to get my money back - in small monthly payments!

    So if official HD dealers see good sales and these grey importers are suffering - serves you right!
     
  12. finnomick

    finnomick Ol'Timer

    Well Marmite, it takes all sorts to make the world go round. Maybe you can categorise the Harley-Davidson brand in the same way some people see Marmite -- you either love it or hate it ( personally I love it ). Or even Porsche. They've been making the 911 in one form or another for over fifty years now but I'd hardly call the 911 archaic. Getting on a bit, I've had my fair share of bullet bikes, sometimes even arriving before I left, but now I prefer to see what I am riding by. A Harley-Davidson can cruise at the legal speed limit although it might take some time to get to it. I've ridden my Harley from England to Munich in the same day and got out of the saddle as fresh as a daisy, not a trip I'd look forward to on the latest road rockets, but then we all have our preferences. If you really think Harley-Davidson are archaic rubbish, how is it all the Japanese brands have Harley-Davidson copies at the top of their range ? Obviously they don't think copying archaic rubbish is such a bad idea. Another point worth noting is that Harley-Davidson can sell every bike that leaves any of their three factories/assembly plants, they don't need any storage facilities for stock.
     
  13. jimbobs

    jimbobs Ol'Timer

    Got to say tho,,,,IDE still like to own a nice Harley here in Thai ,,,,I just can't afford it,,,,maybe one day,,,,,
    I bought a Versys and a KLX for Thai ,,,,2 motorbike s I would not have given a second look in the UK
    its all about value for money in LOS,,,,,,,the KTMs ,,,Harley's ,,,dukes. Are not justifiable to your average biker ,,,
    good luck to you fellas that can
     
  14. lordofthedreadz

    lordofthedreadz Ol'Timer

    I think talking about archaic rubbish is from someone that never even saw an HD up close, new models are as modern as any other brand.

    Thus said HDs are not proven for the top notch reliability, and for me and many others reliability is of major concern in LOS when you for sure dont know if you can find a proper mechanic, also Thai roads are not very well suited for big HDs models IMHO.

    Another thing is most of the grey bikes importers are going out of business because there more and more legit bike running around, I personally think that is a very good thing and that proves the market is really evolving.
     
  15. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    Seems the original post may describe the reasons for the disparity in H-D sales & perception. Changing demographics in Rayong in general. Things down there are not what they once were and neither are the people (non-Thai) that remain.
     
  16. Oddvar

    Oddvar Ol'Timer

    Most bikes and cars become more and more comfortable, silent and so on.
    Not Harley. They have some way to go before they can do this.



    I have tried on mine, and the 10 bath stays on the engine block.
     
  17. lordofthedreadz

    lordofthedreadz Ol'Timer

    HDs are not meant to be comfy, they are all about the look, meaning that if you dont enjoy the look (like me) you will never think about getting one, but I can totally understand people loving them :)

    Owning an HD is more than just being a biker or owning a bike, it is part of a legend no matter what you like in biking, when you see an HD you have to look at it even if you wont buy one.
     
  18. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    Interesting - owners hang on to their smaller Jap-made cruisers, their Triumphs, their W650s and W800s, but there are more than 400 late model HDs nobody wants.
     
  19. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I have Owned and Ridden loads of different Makes and Models of Bikes and I must Say My Harley Davidson Fat Bob is just as Comfortable on a Trip as My Triumph Tiger 1050 so I am not sure where this Harleys are Uncomfortable comes from? Mine is Brilliant and Handles Great as well! I absolutely Love it! The main problem now is which one to take when i go on a Trip!!!
     
  20. finnomick

    finnomick Ol'Timer

    Probably because being able to prove that the green registration book is legitimate is very hard.....or should I say proving that the grey registration book isn't legitimate. I've yet to buy a Harley-Davidson here in Thailand because I have been told so many dubious stories as to how ' the book is legitimate ' even by those whom would be considered above board, just to sell a bike. How many H-D do you see for sale saying for example, ' 2006 bike with brand new 2013 registration book ' ? I neither want or can afford a new H-D, I really want a Twincam Fatboy circa 2001 - 2005. I've walked away from several because the sales pitch just didn't add up. Prior to moving here, I'd ridden H-D since 1983 from a 1200 Lowrider, an Ultra Classic and two Fatboys one of which owed me nearly 30,000 pounds and I will carry on looking until maybe one day, the right bike turns up for sale. I know what the local Customs and Excise boys are like, I had enough trouble with the GB 400 TT I had recently so I don't want to have them around every 5 minutes. Until H-D can persuade HM Government to reduce to a sensible level or even abolish the luxury tax on these bikes, H-D will not be able to sell as many as they would like ( hence only one dealership so far -- thanks to George and Eric ) and the grey registered bikes will still gather dust until some mug comes along with a handful....sorry, wheelbarrow full of money and buys what he thinks is a legitimately registered bike. Bring the price of owning a H-D to an equivalent to what it costs in the usa or UK and sales will increase dramatically in my opinion. Roll on that day but I'll not be holding my breath.....
     
  21. Azoulay

    Azoulay Ol'Timer

    Hi Friends, hi Finnomick,

    For your Harley purchase, I would highly recommend you to vist HD Playground website http://www.hd-playground.com .

    Now for the declining of the HD market, looking at all the bike parties around Thailand, I don't share the idea that HD market is declining, the recent issues with bike imports are for few month, or maybe 2 years but will end positively as everything use to end down here.

    If you need more info, just PM me.
     
  22. finnomick

    finnomick Ol'Timer

    Azoulay, I already know about Harley Playground, but thank you for the information. Because the site is in Thai ( s'pose it would be really ), I got the misses to look over my shoulder to guide me through the site. There didn't seem to be many bikes for sale but this could be our inability to view the site, but what we did find for sale were bikes ' sold with invoice ' only -- no green books. Does anyone know the Siamspeedway shop and operation ? Are their bikes registered or invoice only bikes because they do seem to have a lot for sale. Thanks in advance for any information.
     

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