Honda Motorcycle Sales Down 5% in 2012

01/28/2013 @ 11:42 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS


Honda Motor Co. has reported its 2012 sales figures, with the Japanese behemoth showing a 5% sales drop for 2012, when compared to 2011. Selling 15.6 million units last year, Honda made progress in its home country Japan (+1%), as well as in North America (+25%) and Europe (+22%).

However in Honda’s most volume-heavy markets, the company suffered modest loses: South America (-14%), Asia (-5%), and China (-1%). With three out of four Honda motorcycles being sold in Asia, the region’s 5% dip essentially assured the Japanese company’s sales loss for the year.

Honda’s 2012 figures reveal some interesting data points, namely that the first-world markets are showing signs of life again for the the Japanese OEMs, who have been slower to recovery than the European brands in the same markets.

Another interesting trend is the slow-down in the Asian markets, which for the past few years have been carrying companies like Honda. Whether the loses are due to the increased competition in the region, or a larger sales trend remains to be seen, but it is worth keeping an eye upon.

Source: Honda

  • Beinggodisgreat

    They need to make the RC52… Killer reliable V-Twin for the masses. Instead of the V4 for the super rich…

  • akatsuki

    No surprise here. Long in the tooth sportbikes, missed notes (would anyone buy a VFR over a Multistrada)…

  • akatsuki, I think you missed the point. Honda is up in the markets you state.

  • akatsuki–I’m a Honda fan to the core, and I totally agree with your take that their sportbikes are long in the tooth. Minor cosmetic tweaks to both CBR’s just isn’t enough these days. Five years ago, who would’a thunk that the fastest, sharpest, best-selling literbike would be a freakin’ BMW?

    But don’t knock the new VFR too badly. Because of its slow sales, I bought a brand-new 2010 DCT last year for less than $12,000 Out-The-Door (about 40% off). It’s one of the best-kept secrets in modern motorcycling. Would I have bought one at the $17,500 MSRP? Absolutely not. I would quickly pay that much for a new interpretation of an RVF1000, though.

    And I’m first in line for the 2013, finally coming to America, CB1100 at my local dealer. Europe and America should have been right there with Japan and Australia when this bike originally debuted.

  • Peter G

    I should have puchased a RC45 when I lived in Japan…. At the time, I was on Big $$$…… Ahh, we live and learn :-)

  • Paul McMenamin

    Please Honda, bring out a proper, modern replacement for the ST1100 and ST1300. How about a flat four? Give us (after 20 years) proper aerodynamics and a well-designed windscreen. Match the weight of the R1200RT. Put FOUR good HID headlights on the thing. Make the handlebars and footpegs adjustable. Make the bags LIGHT, yet capable of holding a full-face helmet. Keep the weight down low. Tune the engine for torque (like the NC700X) and forget about the horsepower race. Give us a thin steel sheath over the tank zone so we can use a magnetic tank bag. Have LED sidemarkers and tail lights, and factory fog light options. Give us an easily-accessible fusebox, battery and fuel filter. Test the thing with people from 5’5″ to 6’6″. And go back to the drawing board if you can’t make a windscreen that works! And use your magic to give us an honest 60 mpg at 70 mph. If I can get 32.5 mpg highway in a CVT Altima with four adults and luggage onboard (BTDT), a motorcycle with good aeros should be able to get 60 mpg.

  • Jugernautishere

    Indian market will see a final denouement in the next 5 years….Other competitors are shaking in their boots since Honda has decided to concentrate on its wholly owned subsidiary HMSI and divorce Hero (erstwhile Hero Honda)…This has huge long term implications……I am an Indian who grew up in the late 90s and 2000s and mid 20s now…..Honda is known as the company that is almost mythical in its engineering prowess….MotoGP has been broadcast live into India for the last 19 years…and most of that time especially during the 500s it was an age of total Honda domination…….People who were young and teenagers then know that the winged badged Honda was the best motorcycle company in the world since it won the races…..That one can afford a racy looking and fairly sporty, equipped with ABS , fuel injected, liquid cooled modern 150cc 4-stroke made entirely by the same company that wins all the prestigious races at MotoGP will bound to have and is having a massive psychological impact on the 18-30 year old demographics in India…That Honda and Yamaha are bringing 150cc and 250cc versions of their YZF and CBR series that can be had for between $1500-$3000 is creating ripples among the youth…quite frankly Honda association with Hero was known for extrmely bland and boring bikes…Youngsters just couldnot connect Hero Honda with Winged Badged Honda of MotoGP and the 500cc GP……Now Winged Badged Honda is making uni-shock , unit pro linked rear suspension bikes in small capacities have made it favourite among the upscale youths in India along with Yamaha…….Its customary for a a middle class youth in India these days to have a sporty 150cc bike and a girlfriend as pillion and matching stylish helmets these days…The craze for sporty motorbikes among youth play a major role in constituting the 14 million unit market (That is the motorcycle and scooter production number including export)

    So what games can Hero and TVS and Bajaj play? Hero will mostly undercut the competition by offering cheaper prices on its outdated Honda tech…TVS is doing that too…remeber HMSI (wholly owned Indian subsidiary of Honda) has been in the motorcycle game only a few years and previously they were making only CVT scooters…Hero and TVS will use their vast distribution network to offer bulk 100-110cc and midsize 125cc models at cheaper prices and that will be hurting Honda regarding volume in the short term…Bajaj will fight with Honda tooth and nail for the mindspace of the upper middle class 18 year olds..around 5 percent to 10 percent of the 18 year olds buying 150cc sporty bikes today will buy 1000cc superbikes 15 years from now…that is a market of 250,000-500,000 per annum for 1000 cc bikes in 15 years…So it is that important to fight for the mindspace of the upper middle class youth……………………Abdur Razzaq a Pakistani cricketer won a CBR1100XX Blackbird for being the MVP in a cricket tournament in Australia in 2000….Pictures of that were splashed across many newspaers in mags in India which also helped Honda to gain mindspace….Many Indians see it this way that the Honda which makes world champion race bikes and Formula 1 cars is also the Honda that is making their 150cc bikes…This is powerful powerful messaging…..It can be readily said that no other company in the world with the possible exception of BMW knows more about four stroke naturally aspirated petrol engines than Honda

  • jabawocki

    A new Africa Twin is dramatically and urgently needed!

    It’s more than 10 years that after this motorcycle anything has been release by Honda while from the other side of its main competitors many and many models have been made…! BMW with GS, Yamaha with Tenere and Super Tenere, Triumph with Tiger, KTM with 990 Adv etc etc

    Why Honda anything yet??

  • steve

    guess nc700x isn’t quite what you meant

  • Paul McMenamin

    quote: BMW with GS, Yamaha with Tenere and Super Tenere, Triumph with Tiger, KTM with 990 Adv etc etc

    As much as those bikes are impressive (and better in the dirt, at least with KTM), the NC700X is a better mount for 95% of the riding that 95% of motorcycle owners actually do. I’ve ridden them all, extensively on the Super Tenere. I love the Yamaha motor, and the KTM off-road ability. But if I had to pull one out of the garage for most “normal” riding, an NC700X would get the nod. I think Honda understands this. Most of the big “adventure bikes” are “profile statements” for aging upper middle class and rich guys who want to look like they can ride to Patagonia while they do an 80-mile road loop on a Sunday afternoon.

    I still want to see Honda apply its masterful technology to a world-betting sport tourer. The VFR1200, as I predicted, missed the mark hugely. Uncomfortable, too expensive, not good for passenger.

  • Dman

    Maybe they should bring back the Pacific Coast–only this time with Tattoo graphics to really liven up the brand.

  • jabawocki

    I’ve a KTM 990 ADV where I travel a lot around Europe and Africa (I’m italian): sometime doing some off-road too during the trip.
    As far as I know, most of the owners of ADV are ex-Honda AT that waited a lot before to move to another brand: in this case the austrian one that probably is one of the best for these kind of travels also with a kind of off.

    In my opinion Super Tenere is good, but too heavy while BMW GS is too expensive and usually destined for – as you I’ve correctly written – middle-class and rich guys.

    Honda AT has been the last Queen that was able to be a winner either in Dakar Race and in the street market for the excited owners.

    We miss it a lot.