How will Honda evolve its small motorcycles towards electrification?

Honda continued to profit from its motorcycles, not only in the Philippines but also globally. In fact, small motorcycles have become Honda Motor Company’s biggest cash cows, so much so that they now contribute a larger portion of the company’s operating profits than automobiles.

According to a report by Nikkei Asia, the company’s “lucrative prowess” is also evident compared to its competitors. Honda posted a consolidated profit margin of 12.6% in fiscal 2020, well above the 2% of Yamaha Motor, 1.2% of Suzuki Motor and 3.5% of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Honda’s small motorcycles are also unaffected by the current chip shortage, as they typically don’t use semiconductors.

However, Nikkei says there’s a reason to be concerned about Honda’s global motorcycle sales, especially the company’s electrification efforts. It has already announced its intention to achieve carbon neutrality for all of its products by 2050. It has even pledged to stop selling new cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) by 2050. 2040.

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For motorcycles, on the other hand, Honda has not yet established a precise timetable. Rival Yamaha has already pledged to manufacture 90% of its electric motorcycles by 2050, while Kawasaki has announced plans to go fully electric by 2035. At the same time, several startups on several continents are already developing bikes to drums.

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As for Honda, the brand has only four electric motorcycles to date and has yet to discuss how it will electrify its range in the years to come. All of this further increases the risk of Honda inaction.

“Small motorcycles will eventually face increasing pressure from electrification,” said Seiji Sugiura at the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute. “How? ‘Or’ What [Honda] allocating investments to motorcycles while restoring its four-wheeled automotive business will be a challenge.

There’s still time, so maybe Honda is already planning something for the next decade. I guess we’ll all have to wait and see for now, then.

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