The Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association (MDPPA) forecasts strong motorcycle sales this year. The group, composed of representatives from Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Kymco, sees strong growth in the business model segment for the coming year.

Motorcycles for business use are expected to continue on an upward trend because of the rising popularity of internet-based services such as shopping, online transactions, and courier services, which rely heavily on deliveries. These services, in turn, are being patronized by young, net-savvy individuals, that prefer to live and work at home, in a trend that is termed, 'cocooning.'

With online shopping gaining traction, more products from food, fashion items to tech gadgets and even medicines and grocery items are ordered over the internet and delivered to customers’ homes.

The MDPPA has noticed this trend since last year, citing that motorcycles for business use posted an 18 percent sales growth last year at 202,098 units compared with 170,979 units in 2016.

More people are opting to spend more time at home. If they shop or run an errand, they do so straight from the house. As a result of this ‘in-home-staying’ lifestyle, we see an increasing demand for online shopping and grocery delivery, which then fuels demand for motorcycles as a delivery transport option,” the MDPPA said.

As more businesses expand their delivery services, demand for motorcycles is expected to rise further. The MDPPA assures they can meet the growing demand, particularly of small and medium enterprises. Its members are ready to take on the production challenges as they already have facilities capable of meeting the needs of a larger market.

Aside from being a cost-efficient delivery vehicle, the MDPPA also sees motorcycles as a better transportation alternative to cars. With the worsening traffic congestion in major cities such as Metro Manila, commuters regard motorcycles as a faster mode of transport that allows them to navigate congested streets and reach their destinations with less time. The passage of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Bill has also increased the excise tax on automobiles driving up their prices. This, in turn, only increases the appeal of motorcycles over cars.

Popular for personal transport are motorcycles with automatic transmission (AT), particularly with new users, because of their ease of use. AT motorcycles registered the biggest growth during the first half of last year thanks to their convenience and increased functionality.

The MDPPA is confident motorcycle sales will remain strong despite issues such as the rising number of road crashes linked to motorcycle use. The group, in fact, projects sales to hit 2 million units by 2022 on the back of strong demand.

They are aware that the growing demand comes with increasing challenges. The group continues to push for road safety and remains firm in collaborating with the government and the general public. Among its programs are the “Helmets Save Lives” campaign and the seminars for riders, elementary pupils and high school students nationwide.

The MDPPA also stresses the urgent need to educate the public more about road safety. The Association remains steadfast in its goal of educating the public about road safety practices. It will be holding more seminars and training for the riding community and will continue with its life-saving sticker campaign.