It would seem the motorcycle industry has found the bottom of the recession, with first quarter sales in 2011 showing 7% growth over 2010’s numbers here in the United States. Ducati has already posted strong numbers for Q1 2011, and BMW is posting its best quarterly results ever. Even Harley-Davidson is showing some signs of life with a 3.5% sales increase so far this year. However the good news does not extend to Japanese behemoth Honda Motor Co.’s motorcycle division.
Selling 300,000 more units in the past three months than it did in Q1 of 2010, Honda’s 12.7% sales growth was not enough add more to the top line (and bottom line) compared to last year’s financial figures. Seeing a 3% drop in revenue, one can surmise that while Honda is selling more units in 2011, those units sales are coming from cheaper models, presumably scooters, and not from pricier full size models.
Perhaps worse for the Japanese company is the fact its net income is down 38%, suggesting that its expense structure is not setup effectively to handle the higher volume, but lower margin models. No doubt the sales drought from the margin-rich North American market (and European market to a lesser extent) is to blame for this drop in net income, while strong Southeast Asian markets can account for the up-tick in sales overall, albeit with cheaper model units.
Despite these figures, Honda has posted stronger numbers than it was forecasting, though it is refraining from making any sales or revenue predications for the coming quarters because of the Great East Japan Earthquake. It should be noted that this article reflects calendar year figures, which differ from Honda’s financial year numbers (according to Honda’s accountants, April marked the start of Q1 2012…go fig).
Source: Honda Worldwide