The manufacturing strategy of most large motorcycle manufacturers of outsourcing the production of their vehicles to developing countries has indeed resulted in more and more affordable machines making their way to the global stage. In addition, it has allowed manufacturers to broaden their model ranges, and offer specialized products for specific markets.
With Southeast Asia as the biggest industrial hub in the world, nearly all major motorcycle manufacturers have set up shop in the region, benefitting from the more affordable labor costs in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. On top of this, the outsourcing of production to these countries provides hundreds, if not thousands of jobs, and thereby boosts the economy in these countries by a sizable margin. Having said all that, recent reports and industry developments suggest that the Philippines is an up and coming motorcycle manufacturing hub in the region.
Over the past couple of years, the Southeast Asian archipelago has experienced a significant boom in its local motorcycle industry. With industry giants such as KTM, Honda, and Yamaha setting up shop and building manufacturing facilities in the country, the motorcycle market has grown significantly, not just in terms of local sales, but exports, too. In an Economic Forum conducted by a major local bank, the Department of Trade and Industry highlighted a few focal points which have significantly contributed to the growth of the local motorcycle industry.
For starters, Honda has been manufacturing small-displacement motorcycles in the Philippines, and has been enjoying rather successful sales, particularly of these machines, in the local market. Starting this year, Honda Philippines will be exporting locally manufactured motorcycles overseas, starting with New Zealand. To add to the list, Yamaha has also recently expanded manufacturing capabilities in the country to cater to the more premium side of things. Having recently inaugurated a new manufacturing facility in Batangas, a city in the southernmost part of Luzon, the Japanese motorcycle company is now producing the Yamaha NMAX 155 locally.
Another major contributing factor to the continued growth of the Philippine motorcycle industry is KTM's aggressive expansion in the local market. Since 2017, the Austrian company had been manufacturing its 200, 250, and 390 range of bikes in its factory in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Since early this year, the factory had been upgraded to manufacture the entire 790 lineup of bikes, as well. With that, the KTM 790 Duke, 790 Adventure, and 790 Adventure R are the first high-displacement "big bikes" to be manufacture on Philippine soil.
This aggressive expansion of multiple players in the motorcycle industry has resulted in an impressive 22-percent growth as of January, 2021, when compared to the same period last year. As the demand for affordable and reliable small-capacity machines continues to rise given the current situation, there is indeed a big chance that we will see more and more major motorbike manufacturers set up shop in the Philippines.