The Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association (MDPPA), the premier group of motorcycle manufacturers in the country, recorded a new sales benchmark after capping its first six-month performance with a 42 percent year-on-year sales growth. MDPPA members recorded combined sales of 544,699 motorcycle units in the first half of 2016, which exceeded previous projections.

The members of the organization are Honda Philippines Inc., Kawasaki Motors Philippines Inc., Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc., Suzuki Philippines Inc. and Kymco Philippines Inc.,

With this rosy first half accomplishment, the motorcycle manufacturers group banks on the trajectory to continue and confidently targets to achieve the milestone of more than one million units sold by end-December this year. Based on previous years’ trends, July to December usually bring in better commerce, making the association bullish about reaching more than one-million mark by the end of the year. Total sales for 2015 was at 850,509 units.

In terms of sales by motorcycle type, the Moped (MP) model or the underbone motorcycle holds the most number of units sold in the first half of 2016, overtaking the Business (BU) model category that led the numbers in the first half of 2015. With 205,636 units sold from January to June 2016, the MP class posted a 58 percent year-on-year growth.

This is followed by sales of the BU category totaling 171,035 units. The automatic category, meanwhile, with sales of 125,528 units, registered the greatest year-on-year growth of 66 percent. The Street (ST) motorcycle category posted an 11-percent year-on-year growth with 42,149 units.

MDPPA president Rodel Pablo attributed the outstanding mid-year performance to various factors. “The introduction of affordable but reliable motorcycle models propelled the sales performance of MDPPA member manufacturers. The traffic congestion in major cities, such as Metro Manila, also prompts commuters to look for alternative modes of transportation. Commuters consider motorcycles as a fast and affordable transportation alternative,” he added.

In addition, the introduction of fuel injection models was a welcome innovation for motorcycle enthusiasts, offering better fuel efficiency, and smoother and more consistent throttle response.

Per capita income increase a factor

The country’s strong economic performance resulting to an increase in per capita income and positive outlook have also contributed to MDPPA’s sales growth as the improving economy has allowed more consumers to purchase motorcycles. “The flourishing sales figures of the motorcycle industry are a clear indication of how the country’s improving economy contributed to the group’s mid-year performance. BU motorcycle numbers, for instance, show that many of our countrymen are making a living through tricycles or that many SMEs [small and medium enterprises] are using motorcycles in their daily operations for delivery services,” Pablo added.

The group’s efforts in curbing the patronage of counterfeit products to promote road safety also contributed to the positive yield in the industry’s first half performance. “MDPPA remains a firm advocate of road safety. We’ve always been very active on this issue, communicating to people how dangerous it is to use counterfeit products instead of the genuine ones,” Pablo said.

He also noted that the same factors could fuel further growth for the remainder of the year. In line with its road safety advocacy, the group conducts free seminars nationwide for riders’ groups and school children, as well as a road safety stickering campaign to promote the use of standard helmet. The Road Safety Seminar aims to educate the rider-participants on how to be safe and responsible riders. The seminar module includes, among others, topics on choosing the right motorcycle and its proper operation, proper riding positions and appropriate riding gears. Representatives from the Land Transportation Office and the Philippine National Police are also invited to discuss on traffic rules and regulations, and other relevant laws. Meanwhile, the module for children helps develop their safety awareness through illustrations, interactive discussions and practical demonstration on topics like traffic signs and road markings, right of way, road courtesy, and pedestrian safety.

Based on the basic principles of the Philippine Motor Vehicle Development Program (MVDP) implemented by the Board of Investments, the Philippine Motorcycle Manufacturing Program Association was established in 1973. In 1987, new MVDP guidelines were finalized and program name was, likewise, changed to Motorcycle Development Program (MDP). The association was given the new name of Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association Inc. or MDPPA in 1989.

The current five members of the association are all active participants of the MVDP.