The Motorcycle in Numbers

IN 2019, 66.2% of Malaysian households owned either a motorcycle or a scooter (Table 1), with their ownerships in rural areas (76.0%) being higher than in urban locales (63.7%). However, despite its popularity as the second most used motor vehicle, motorcycle ownerships saw a slight drop from 67.2% in 2016 to 66.2% in 2019 (Table 1).

Interestingly, motorcycle ownerships are higher in less developed states, with the exception of Sabah. As seen in Table 1, Terengganu recorded the highest motorcycle ownership at 87.3%, followed by Kedah (86.4%), Perlis (84.6%) and Kelantan (84.1%). The three latter states also registered a higher number of motorcycle ownership in comparison to car ownership.

In 2019 Malaysia’s motorcycle industry1 manufactured 242,789 motorcycles and scooters, and generated RM15.5bil in total revenue2. But its motorcycle production has been on a noticeable decline since 2015, with an annual reduction rate of 8.5% from 2015-2019.

Read also: E-Scooters May Be Penang's Next Major Industry

The lacklustre demand resulting from Covid-19 also caused motorcycle production, revenue and employment to be reduced by 34.1%, 62.1% and 7.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q2 of 2020 as compared to the same quarter in 2019. Though motorcycle production rebounded in Q3, it remained weak (Figure 1a-Figure 1c). Meanwhile, the sales and services sector displayed a healthier resurgence, with the sales value improving at 4.8% y-o-y in Q3, following a slip in Q2 (Figure 1d).

Based on the Performance of Wholesale and Retail Trade Census Report 2019, in 2018 Penang had 649 establishments in the motorcycle retail industry,3 employing 3,557 workers. That same year, the state recorded a total sales value of goods and services worth RM667.8mil, and contributed RM138.6mil to Penang’s gross domestic product. Since the manufacturing of motorcycles is supplementary to Penang’s main manufacturing industries, the state, on average, produced a lower value-added per employee compared to those at the national level (Table 2).

Selangor accounted for 23.2% of Malaysia’s sales value of motorcycles and related services, and 33.2% of the total value-added in 2018. This was followed by Johor (revenue: 14.3%; value-added: 14.1%), KL (revenue: 12.5%; value-added: 6.9%) and Perak (revenue: 10.6%; value-added: 9.6%). Meanwhile, Melaka generated the highest value-added per employee (RM99,000), followed by KL (RM85,700) and Selangor (RM81,500) (Table 2).

In terms of new motorcycle registrations per 1,000 population, Penang ranked third behind Wilayah Persekutuan (30.5 registrations for every 1,000 population) and Terengganu (16.3 registrations for every 1,000 population) (Table 3). On average, there were 15.6 new registrations for every 1,000 population, which accounted for 9.3% of the country’s new motorcycle registrations in 2019.

In contrast to the household ownership, new motorcycle registrations topped the list of all types of vehicles. In Penang motorcycles constituted about 82% of total new motor vehicle registrations in 2019. However, since 2012, the number of new registrations for motorcycles has seen a downward trend, albeit at a slower rate than new registrations for motor cars.

Given the fact that motorcycles make up the largest share of motor vehicle registrations cumulatively, the number of reported deaths and injuries due to accidents involving motorcycles are also the highest of all vehicle types. In 2019 there were 9,966 reported casualties in accidents involving motorcycles, which accounted for 66.4% of total deaths and injuries in Malaysia (Figure 2).

1The motorcycle industry includes the manufacturing and sales, maintenance and repair of motorcycles. The data is retrieved from Monthly Manufacturing Statistics (September 2020) and Performance of Wholesale and Retail Trade (September 2020), respectively, from Department of Statistics Malaysia.
2Retrieved from Monthly Manufacturing Statistics (September 2020), Department of Statistics Malaysia.
3Refers to the sale, maintenance and repair of motorcycles and related parts and accessories.

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