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Tuesday 13 June 2023

Biz Briefs

BMW Motorrad posted a new all-time high in Q1 of its centenary year, delivering a total of 47,935 motorcycles and scooters - more vehicles in a first quarter than ever before (2022: 47,403 units; +1.1%). Revenues climbed to € 933m (2022: € 799m/+16.8%). Segment EBIT was up 42.6% to € 154m (2022: €108m) and the EBIT margin increased to 16.5% (2022: 13.5%/+3%-points). In other news, the board of BMW AG has approved a further share buy-back programme in a volume of up to € 2bn, which is scheduled to start upon conclusion of the first buy-back programme. The latter was started in July 2022 and is expected to be completed in mid-2023. An authorisation to repurchase up to 10% of the share capital within five years was granted by the Annual General Meeting of BMW AG in May 2022.

Following a record year in 2022, Ducati started 2023 with a new record for Q1 deliveries of 14,725 total units delivered. Of its major markets, Italy was +7.0% (2,717 units), USA (1,677) and Germany + 21.0 % (1,666). Multistrada V4 popularity keeps growing (2,668 units sold in Q1); the company sold 2,005 'Monsters', with DesertX becoming the third most popular model in the range (1,442 units sold). Ducati says it is now selling in 90 countries with more than 800 dealers worldwide, with 55 more slated to open in 2023, including the first Audi Ducati Retail integration dealership for Switzerland that opened in Volketswil (Zurich) in March.

Ducati and its employees have come out in support of its home region, Emilia-Romagna, the region hardest hit by the recent floods in Italy. The company will make a donation of € 200,000 to the Protezione Civile of Emilia-Romagna to support the people and communities affected. The Trade Union representatives at Ducati, together with employees, are also taking action for a fundraising, whose proceeds will be doubled by the company.

Honda's Q4 and full year 22/23 financial results (the 12 months to March 31, 2023) put motorcycle segment revenue at +33.00% (approx. € 20bn). Worldwide PTW unit shipments of Honda badged machines from its wholly owned and JV/subsidiary factory network were up over +10% at over 18m. Sales in Asian markets were up by 10.4% (16.1m units), Indonesia was +15.7% (approx. 4.5m units); India was +16% (some 2.4m units). European sales were +9.5% (347,000 units) and North America was +5% (459,000 units). Sales in Japan were essentially flat year-on-year at some 246,000 units. Operating profit from Honda's motorcycle business segment was up by +56.9% at around € 3.35bn, with operating margin of some 16.8% (14.3% in 21/22). For 23/24 Honda is forecasting growth of around 25% for European unit sales to over 430,000.

South Korean steel maker Posco Holdings and Honda have announced that they are "exploring a comprehensive partnership toward the realisation of carbon neutrality". They will collaborate on areas such as batteries (procurement of key battery materials such as cathodes/anodes); recycling (expanded use of recycled materials to establish a closed-loop recycling system); automotive steel sheet (ultra-high tensile steel sheet for lighter vehicles and lower manufacturing emissions) and electric steel sheet (for the mass production of drive motors for the e-Axle, electric axle drive).

Kawasaki's Q4 and full year 22/23 financial results (the 12 months to March 31, 2023) put motorcycle segment revenue at +32% (approx. € 4bn) with worldwide unit shipments +13% (555,000 unts) within which 'developed market' shipments were +13.9% (237,000 units). The United States saw a 38.4% increase in unit shipments at around 119,000 units, but Europe was down by -5.5% at 67,000 units. Sales in Japan and Australia were also down. Units in 'emerging markets' were up by 12.4% (318,000). The Philippines were up (+29.8%/209,000 units), Indonesia was down (-4.4%/43,000 units); China was down (-18.9%/30,000). Powersports segment operating profit was +90.7% (€ 490m). ATV/UTV and PWC unit shipments were +7.4% (87,000 units). For its 23/24 year Kawasaki forecasts 7% less inventory for its 'developed markets'. 

For its Q4 and full year 22/23 financial results (the 12 months to March 31, 2023), Suzuki is reporting global sales of 1.859m units, which is +13.4% (+220,000 YoY). Sales in Europe were 31,000 units (+9.1%/+3,000 units YoY); North America was +11.5% (+3,000 units YoY at 32,000); Japan down by -14.6% (-8,000 units YoY at 46,000), with Asia +15.4% (+204,000 units YoY at 1.528m). India is its largest Asian market by far, at 740,000 units (+21.4%), followed by China at 430,000 units (+6.8%) and Philippines at 197,000 units (22.5%). Latin America was worth 198,000 units for Suzuki in 22/23 (+17.5%). Total Suzuki production (domestic and all international facilities, including JVs and 3PP) was 1.914m units (+7.3%/130,000 units). Total sales revenue from consolidated net sales (all factories) was 333.3bn yen, which was +31.4% YoY, with Europe +33.1% at 39.2bn yen.

For Q1 of its 2023 financial year (January to December) - Yamaha is the only one of the Japanese manufacturers to run an annual calendar financial year - Yamaha states that "demand for motorcycles is strong" with unit sales in all major markets increasing - despite continuing shortage of inventory in the Premium Scooters segment - one where Yamaha is particularly strong. Total global unit sales for Q1 were +112% at 1.274m units for 347.9bn yen. Sales in Europe were +107% for Q1 YoY at 55,000 units and 52.7bn yen (+130%). Sales in North America were +191% (26,000) units; Japan was +90% (21,000 units); Asia was +114% (1.028bn units). Total 'developed market' unit sales (Europe, USA and Japan) were +113% for Q1, with overall inventory as at March 31st described as being lower than optimum levels to meet demand.

In Japan, Yamaha Motor and its wholly owned subsidiary Yamaha Motor Powered Products Co., Ltd. (YMPC) has announced plans for a "partial transfer" of its power products business (multi-purpose engines, generators and snow blowers) to Earth Power Products Co., Ltd. (EPP) - wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese auto parts maker Meiko Seiki Co., Ltd. 

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,, Cycle World,