Motorcycle Demand Increasing

Worldwide demand for motorcycles remains strong despite China's transition toward cars for its transportation needs, according to a report by the Cleveland-based Freedonia Group Inc.

Global motorcycle demand is forecast to advance 4.9% annually through 2009, down from a 6.8% annual increase from 1999 through 2004. In its World Motorcycles' study, the Freedonia Group cites fuel efficiency and continued restrictions on car use in developed markets as reasons for the continued growth.

But while the market for expensive high-powered motorcycles also are expected to remain strong, its aging U.S. and Western European customer base is raising concerns. Additionally, restrictions on motorcycle use in China's large metropolitan areas and some other Asian countries will likely cause a shift in demand away from urban areas to more rural markets, according to the report.

Although the Asian market dominates in terms of unit volume, most major manufacturers focus their marketing efforts on developed countries where revenues are higher.

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