More Filipinos may have shifted to riding motorcycles during the COVID-19 pandemic, but overall production and sales of the two-wheeled mode of travel actually took a hit from January to October this year.
Last month, German database company Statista reported a 17.4% increase in motorcycle purchases in the Philippines from July to August 2020 compared to the same period last year.
“In Asia, where the motorcycle is a preferred mode of travel because of its low-cost and ability to move through blocked-up traffic, several countries and regional economies have seen monthly sales increase above 2019 levels,” Statista said.
According to data from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Automotive Federation (AAF), however, a total of 941,260 units were sold in the country in the first 10 months—a 33.3% decrease from 1.41 million in the same period last year. In that time, 479,496 units were locally made, a 51.8% drop from the 995,108 produced in 2019.
Production in neighboring Malaysia (down 13.3% versus 2019), Thailand (-13.4%), and Singapore ( -47.2%) likewise dipped. The AAF also recorded lower sales in Thailand (-20.8%) and Malaysia (-15.3%).
Overall, less motorcycles were made (2.14 million units from last year’s 3.07 million) and sold (2.61 million from 3.35 million) in the region from January to the end of October.
Motor vehicles experienced the same decline in terms of manufacturing and sales, with the Philippines only producing 54,894 units in the same period as compared to 78,211 in 2019. Sales-wise, 173,035 units were sold from January to October 2020, a far cry from 301,761 the previous year.