Honda to build big bikes in Thailand

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by ray23, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. ray23

    ray23 Ol'Timer

    Maybe we can say goodby to import taxes

    Honda retools for bigger bikes

    Expanded plant offers more options

    Honda's newly expanded motorcycle plant at Lat Krabang in Bangkok will accommodate the manufacturing of several products for export including large bikes, says Annop Phornprapha, vice-president of Thai Honda Manufacturing Co.
    The Lat Krabang plant already makes the 125cc PCX, the 150cc CBR and the 250cc CBR, well-known global models. In Thailand, the PCX, which costs more than 70,000 baht, and CBR models, priced above 100,000 baht, are popular with high-end customers.
    Honda's foreign success prompted the expansion to help it prepare for new models with larger engines.
    AP Honda, the distribution arm of the company, plans to introduce 12 new products over the next few years to strengthen its market leadership.
    Mr Annop said Thai Honda, which manufactures motorcycles, power products and automotive parts, completed its 2.8-billion-baht installation of new lines and output is now 2 million units per year after moving power products to another area.
    As usual, 1.5 million of the regular motorcycle models per year will be produced because the new lines are reserved for the larger bikes.
    The plant is currently undergoing test runs and will start commercial production next month.
    Production of automotive parts remains at the old plant, said Mr Annop.
    The market for big bikes in Thailand is small, at fewer than 1,000 units per year, so most will be slated for export.
    AP Honda will open the first big bike centre in Asia-Pacific next year after a three-year delay. The centre will cost 400 million baht and is named Honda Big Wing, located on three rai of land on Pradit Manutham Road alongside the Rarm Intra expressway,
    Construction was completed in 2009 and facilities consist of offices, a showroom, a service centre, a workshop, an exhibition hall, a canteen, a lounge, a warehouse, and a riding track.
    Suchart Arunsaengroj, director of sales at AP Honda, said Honda was ready to enter the local large-bike market. The market is characterised by sky-high import tariffs, but Honda decided to target the premium motorcycles because the budget segment is saturated. As well, it will be able to take advantage of lower tariffs offered under the Japan-Thailand free trade agreement.
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  3. furyrider

    furyrider Ol'Timer

    Excuse my ignorance but where is Pradit Manutham Road alongside the Rarm Intra expressway. I have a feeling it is located close to a bigger city such as Bangkok but have no Idea. I would like to swing by there when I get back into Thailand.
  4. sharkthailand

    sharkthailand Active Member

    interesting news , but who can be sure about the number of big bike sold in Thailand every year ? 1000 ? 2000 ?
    Did you consider the unregistered big bike as well ?

    does anyone have the real production figures of Kawasaki Thailand concerning the ER6 ,Versys and other big bike ?
  5. Pgt066

    Pgt066 Ol'Timer

    North East part of BKK
  6. whitehead

    whitehead Ol'Timer

    Its a very good question! How do they know the market potential when the current market is restricted by enormous costs and severe technical import restrictions! We know KW have entered the market but that does not mean that their limited model offerings can be a representative indicator of the true market size.

    My suspicion is the market could be larger than they think if the cost is affordable to your average "upper working class" Thai. Lets hope.
  7. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Yamaha looked at this very carefully some years ago and I am sure Kawasaki and Honda have done the same. Certainly lower prices will bring more sales, but many Thai people upper working class or not, just do not understand the appeal of being out in the sun or rain when they can be in an aircon car. Honda planned this move some time ago, but held off due to the recession..let's hope they have a good launch and offer some desirable models that fill gaps or compete well with Kawasaki etc. I note though that the factory will make bikes primarily for export, so will still be viable even if local market is poor.
  8. brian66

    brian66 Ol'Timer

    I can't see Honda being any different to the other Japanese manufacturers in terms of price, range and availability of decent bikes.

    Use the Japanese only as an example or even bring in to the comparison, the European manufacturers and all decent bikes are expensive. I rarely see large capacity bikes on the roads of Thailand relative to all the other small bikes around so the sale figures for decent large capacity bikes would be very low. Maybe that is an incentive to reduce prices to increase sales but that is a poor marketing strategy based on numbers sold.

    Triumph, Ducati, BMW, Yamaha all have distributors who offer the big bikes such as the R1, FJR1300 etc. and all are 700,000 + Baht to well over a million Baht.

    Kawasaki only offers their cheap bikes in the large capacity range in Thailand. That is if you call a 650 twin a big capacity bike. These types of Kawasaki bikes are regarded as learner bikes in most overseas markets.
    They offer little else in their range.

    Honda doesn’t build a bike to compete with the Kawasaki 650 range. The closest is CB400 or a 750 Cruiser.

    Can you see Honda offering the CBR1000RR, Goldwing, VFR800X or Cross Runner as it is called, VFR1200F, ST1300A any cheaper because they may be made in Thailand? I doubt it.
    The exchange rate of the Japanese Yen is the reason that the Japanese manufacturers are seeking to build out of Japan. They need to build bikes cheaper but still sell at the highest priced, Yen value they can get. Thais are not going to pay for a decent Honda bike that will be more expensive than an equivalent Honda car

    I have just ordered a new 250X and 450X Honda off road bikes. It will cost me almost 400K Baht to get the 450 delivered to me with a green book. The 250, 50K cheaper. How many Thai’s or even foreigners will pay this price for a 250 cc bike?
    I can't see Honda Thailand doing it any cheaper.

    Thailand has a very poor range and choice of motor cycles and they are ridiculously expensive.

    I welcome the thought that Honda may offer a big bike and I can stop buying these parts imported bikes that I have been forced to buy for the past 10 years and just walk into a legitimate Honda show room and pay my 800,000 Baht for the bike on display.
  9. sharkthailand

    sharkthailand Active Member

    according to the figures that i have found on internet, Thailand seems to be a 20 000 big bikes market , with 1000 to 2000 big bikes sold every year,but nobody can confirm that so far.

    The USA market is a 10 millions Big bikes market (over 125 cc ), so if Honda comes in Thailand to produce Big Bike, i think that they will choose the BOI system to re export 100% of their production.

    On the top of That, Big Manufacturers knows that the grey market in Thailand is a big problem, so i guess that as long as this problem exist in Thailand, Motorcycle manufacturers won't officially comes in LOS to propose a wide range of motorcycles.
  10. NickyBKK

    NickyBKK Ol'Timer

    Was at Triumph Bangkok last week and asked the sales guy (when pointing at a model) if it was made in Thailand. He told me he didn't know because all bikes are shipped from the UK, even if they are made in Thailand. Meaning, all bikes made in Thailand are exported and then imported again because of BOI reasons.

    As a manufacturer, if you beleieve that the Thai market is large enough for a particular model, you might consider not producing it under BOI.
  11. KenYam

    KenYam Ol'Timer

    Hey I say WELCOME Honda about time - lets hope under the same conditions as Kawa not Triumph ...Yes Please...more choice, more bikes has too be a good thing.

    More Cruisers and road/trail bikes seems like a void that needs to be filled.

    Cheers Ken F
  12. CBR250

    CBR250 Ol'Timer

    re: Numbers sold in LoS.

    True the companies don't release sales figures, but believe the government release figures of bikes registered.

    Read it up to the first six months a week or so ago. Was something along the lines of Honda over 150cc: 1,800. Kawa over 150cc 2,400. That's just going off memory though, but probably easily found on the net.

    Re: Brian and price of big bikes.

    Aren't all those bikes so expensive due to import taxes? If so, take away the % of import tax from their price to see how much they would likely to be if production was to be set up here?
  13. CBR250

    CBR250 Ol'Timer

    So what bikes will the Japanese be demanding?? Isn't there a big 400cc market there due to the licensing regulations? Believe Kawa have a 400cc version of the N650/Er-6n, and Ducati have a 400cc monster, as well as the CB400 still being produced just for that market.

    If so there might well be a small 400cc bike made. After the global success/demand for the CBR250 Honda might well consider another small, 'big' bike.
  14. brian66

    brian66 Ol'Timer

    A CRF450X costs around 425,000 Baht registered on the road In Australia. I just purchased a new 2011 parts import CRF450X model with a green book for just over 400,000 Baht.
    A 2011 CBR1000RR costs around 600,000 Baht registered on the road in Australia. I recently purchased a new 2011 parts imported model for 750,000 Baht with a green book.
    A 2011 Versy cost around 346,000 Baht registered on the road. I think they are sold in Thailand for around 280,000 Baht.
    Bike prices in Australia are relatedly low, only the US and Japan sell at cheaper prices.
    Even if the bikes are made in Thailand they will incur some government duties and taxes. There is no way the Thai government is going to give Honda a free ride. If the bigger Honda bikes are sold in Thailand, I don't expect a competitive price. They will target well to do Thais.
  15. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    CB600 AKA Hornet.. Bit higher end build quality 4 pot not twin, etc.. but same market segment in the west.

    I would have to imagine a price hike above Kwaker.. Say 350 - 400 ?? Just on brand name and 4 cyl.

    Also the z750 Kwak similar market segment, but just assume the 4 pots are not made here and so they keep sales to the much cheaper due to taxes 2 pot ER6..
  16. Ricohoc

    Ricohoc Ol'Timer

    I hope there are some cruiser choices and that they're not all ninja style bikes.
  17. akbob

    akbob Member

    i've been a honda guy for over 40 yrs. the versys i have here is the first non honda bike i've ever owned. even tho i love the versys, i'd be very interested in a 700 transalp, a 1000 varadero or even a st1300 for my next bike if made here and affordable.
  18. David Race

    David Race Ol'Timer

    You may be a Honda guy and I also think they make the best Jap bikes they are pricer than the other Jap bikes but the build quality is usually better.
    A Transalp is an OK bike but to even mention a Varadero which has been one of the worst bikes Honda have ever made and is being discontinued as it does nothing well unlike your Versys which though you may not know it is for the money just a little bit less competitive than a Triumph 800 Tiger.
    They are not just my words but written by the top motorcycle magazines
    Basically all i am saying be happy with your Kawasaki for the money and forget the Varadero and keep your eyes more fixed on the Transalp which is a great bike unlike the overpriced under performing thirsty good for very very little and about to be replaced varadero.
  19. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I would forget all the Bikes You mentioned akbob! The New Transalp was also a Flop and New Zealand Dealers had real Trouble getting rid of the one Shipment they were supplied with! Underpowered and Overweight!!! I suggest only Buy a Bike that is Sold New in Thailand by a Legitimate Dealer! At least You will have some for of Service and Spare Parts supply! No Doubt Honda will not be Supplying the Bikes that We few are looking for but like all the other Manufacturers supplying the Bikes the Majority of People want ( Those with little Knowledge )! In Asia it is all about Image not Practicality!!!
    Good Luck.
  20. akbob

    akbob Member

    i am happy with the versys and dont plan on changing anytime soon. i would however, be interested to see what honda comes up with for the thailand market. ian- does image vs practicality apply to the new harley? 55555
  21. CBR250

    CBR250 Ol'Timer

    After sitting still for a few years The Honda Big Bike Wing is a hub of activity with people inside doing various things.
  22. jimboy

    jimboy Ol'Timer

    Like swimming? :wink:

    If Honda do produce some larger cc bikes for the domestic Thai market, that can only be a good thing. The growth of a range of bikes at lower prices will inevitably cause a small proportion of riders to gravitate to bigger bikes, and the market will develop over time. From a manufacturers point of view, there's no point in rushing. In the context of Thailand being "first to market" carries considerable risk, and few benefits.

    If one considers Ducati's new Thai factory and their 400,000BHT "Asia only" Monster, add a range of new Hondas with correspondent marketing, training, and service facilities, envisage improvements to Kawasaki's range, not to mention the mandatory/voluntary introduction of ABS and other electronic aids to improve driver safety, it's reasonable to expect the Thai market for "big bikes" to grow over the coming decades.

    What we're not likely to see is a comprehensive range of large capacity bikes at US prices, or a truly competitive market, or the fifty plus years of old machines, parts, and expertise that exists in developed markets. But spare parts and servicing might get easier, and legit bikes more plentiful.

    Noentheless, what you want, and what you will get, are not necessarily compatible. The coming decades will see road traffic of all kinds increase many times over current volume. More crowded roads, poor traffic management and road design (witness the introduction of UK/US style "bike unfriendly" road furniture, U-turn design, etc.), will diminish many of the qualities that make Thailand a paradise for biking.

    In other words, make the most of what we have today. It might not be perfect, but it's not going to last for ever.

    It's time for a ride! :happy4:

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