High-engine motorbikes stir domestic market

17:23 | 03/01/2017 Car & Motor

The recent launch of motorbike models with high-engine displacement has attracted the Vietnamese and stirred the domestic market, even though import prices are 2-3 times higher than world prices.

Illustrative image (Source: Photo 2banhpro.com)

The leader in this segment is Honda Vietnam, with the SH 300i imported from Italy. With a price of 248 million VND (10,880 USD), nearly the price of a small sedan, the motorbike has seen good sales in urban areas, with an expected volume of 400 units next year.

Kymco, a brand name of Taiwan, introduced the People GT300i model in Hanoi in July. This motorbike is seen as a direct competitor to the Honda SH300i. However, a Kymco representative said the introduction is just to get an idea of the Vietnamese market before preparing future plans.

Meanwhile, Yamaha Vietnam is planning to roll out model X-MAX 300 in the country this year, which is also expected to be a rival of the SH300i.

Piaggio, early this year launched two models with high engine displacement -- Aprilia and Moto Guzzi -- in the domestic market, to mark its 95th anniversary. In addition, the firm has two other models -- Beverly 300 i.e and Vespa GTS 300.

A French company, Peugeot recently entered the Vietnamese market with models Geopolis 300 and Satelis 300 and appears intent to compete with its rivals for market share.

Insiders said with the country’s increasing economic development and transference of customers’ consumption demand, high-engine displacement motorbikes and motor scooters would witness a lot of opportunities for development by 2020.

Five years ago, it was rare to see a high-engine displace motorbike on the streets. But today, the image is common.

The market opened its doors to the vehicle when the transport ministry removed its regulation which restricted the number of candidates allowed to drive with an A2 licence -- the requirement for motorbikes above 175cc in force since March 1, 2014.

This new adjustment, Honda Vietnam General Director Minoru Kato told vietnamnet.vn was like "good medicine to stimulate the growth of the high-engine displacement motorbikes market in Vietnam.

However, the selling price remains high due to taxes and fees. Currently, the price of the bike factors in an import tax of between 65 percent and 75 percent, the special consumption tax of 20 percent and value-added tax of 10 percent. Besides this, other fees such as transport, storage and registration fees are also included. On an average, an imported car will have a price that is two or three times higher than the price in the world market.

According to commitments of tax cuts and reduction from trade agreements that Vietnam has signed, the import tax of high-engine displacement vehicles from ASEAN, Japan, the European Union and the United States will be reduced systematically and abolished within the next eight years, which would lower prices in the future.

Insiders said local motorbike makers had the tendency of producing high-engine motorbike scooters in Vietnam, not only to meet demand, but also for export. However, there were concerns that when major cities did not yet have effective measures in place to reduce traffic jams, the increase of high-engine displacement models on the roads would worsen the situation.

Theo VNS