Honda Makes 18 Million Motorcycles in 2010

January 28, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Honda produced more than 18 million motorcycles and ATVs in 2010. The Japanese giant released its global production and sales data for the past calendar year, with record-breaking numbers in many categories. Fueling the numbers were increases in the high-volume Asian market. Honda’s North American sales, which include the U.S., Canada and Mexico, decreased from 210,000 to 192,000, a decline of 8.6%.

Honda expects to sell 220 000 of its new little Twister annually.
Honda sales in Asia have fueled a record-setting production pace for the Japanese manufacturer, with more than 18 million motorcycles and ATVs produced in 2010

Honda’s Asia and Oceania market showed the most dramatic growth in terms of unit volume, with a remarkable 2.7 million unit increase in annual sales. The 14.4 million total for 2010 sets a new record for Honda, replacing last year’s 11.7 million mark, itself a record-setting total at the time. The Asia/Oceania region includes high-volume countries like Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as India, the second-largest motorcycle market on earth.

At the end of 2010 Honda reshaped its strategic presence in India when it confirmed a split with its joint venture Hero Honda. The Japanese firm will divest its 26% share in the JV, which since its creation in 1984 has blossomed into the largest manufacturer in India, with more than five million Hero Honda sales claimed for 2010. Honda’s wholly-owned subsidiary company, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), has itself grown into a manufacturing powerhouse in the Indian market. HMSI is the fourth-largest OEM on the subcontinent, behind Hero, Bajaj and TVS. Honda’s subsidiary looks to maintain market share amidst the country’s rapid two-wheeled sales growth, with HMSI building another manufacturing plant for 2011 to keep production inline with demand. 

As for the largest two-wheeled market in the world, China, Honda saw a slight decrease in sales, with totals dropping from 1,303,000 to 1,285,000. In South America Honda made up the loss, enjoying a robust gain in sales, up 18% to 1,640,000.

Honda’s European and North American markets are characterized by much lower unit volumes of larger-displacement, higher-priced machinery. Honda groups the European market in with the Middle East and Africa. Big Red claims slight decline in sales in those regions, dropping from 261,000 to 258,000. North America remains Honda’s poorest performing market, with motorcycle sales in the U.S. still in the decline for 2010.

Honda’s domestic production market held steady at 190,000. Sales in Japan, however, showed a tidy increase in 2010 – up 15,000 to 196,000.