2016 Singapore Bike Show – Part 3 (Interviews)
We caught up with the biggest names in the bike industry to find out more about their thoughts.
For bike enthusiasts, their names should be all too familiar; during the recent 2016 Singapore Bike Show, we caught up with Eugene Mah of Mah Motors, Michael Ang of Yew Heng Group (official distributor of MV Agusta) and Doc Dol of Motorparts Asia on their thoughts about the event as well as to find out a little more about Singapore’s bike industry.
9tro: Please tell us your thoughts about the Singapore Bike Show and the industry as a whole.
Eugene: Overall, the bike show is quite good, there is a crowd with a good mix of the general public as well the targeted audience, which consists of bikers and riders in general. In terms of sales there has been, but because its an event, we do not expect a lot of it as we are more into it in for marketing and branding.
Marketing and branding itself, I would consider it a success, as for sales, anything we sell here is considered an added bonus. Triumph is probably the most popular brand here at the show as it caters to the widest range of customers, you got classics, sports bikes and adventure tourers, its a brand that has something everybody wants.
Whilst for the Indian and Victory brands, they are all cruisers so its quite targeted. You also have the Vespas and everybody knows and loves them. It would be good to have another bike show next year, hopefully next year there would be more participants, this year its half a hall, if we can next year it should be a full hall.
We are now more focused on marketing the current brands that we carry because last year we started taking on the Piaggio group, as it is, the Piaggio group already consists of four brands and we need to focus on those. We also got Triumph, which has just came up with a new range of modern classics this year so we also need to focus on the new models.
Overall we are improving sales of course, but the way to improve sales is to go into the lifestyle segment. We want to promote a lifestyle, which defers from the norm of having a bike as a means of transport but instead having one for leisure or a past-time activity; not something that you go back to if you do not own a car.
The motorcycle industry is pretty tough, sales has dropped by about 40%, its a declining industry but its still very fun, its something which I want to be in and not do anything else. You have to have the passion for motorcycles and the industry otherwise its just going to be a struggle!
Michael: The show is actually really good, turn-out has been great, but honestly I think the scale of the event is a little bit too small. It would have been even better if there were a greater number of participants like Honda and BMW.
Basically everything else is all-good. There has been a lot of enquires and we have already sold four Dragsters during the event, not that good, but I guess its okay. We will definitely be looking forward to the bike show next year as this is a very good exposure for MV Agusta and we (Yew Heng Group) just took over last year and we will definitely be planning to go in again if there is any in 2017.
Doc Dol: I think the show could have been improved further with advance planning, more cooperation from the brand owners. Singapore being a free-trade zone, I was hoping we could do a show similar to EICMA (Esposizione Mondiale Del Motociclismo – Worldwide Motorcycle Exhibition) but with a South East Asian International-level motor show.
Because in our region there are a lot of homegrown brands from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The reason why people go to EICMA is because of the European brands present there. They go there to find potential dealers and distributors around the world.
For Asian brands, we do not have this kind of show, and we should do something similar to EICMA, make it an annual affair and maybe call it South East Asia International Motor Show or something along those line and invite each countries’ bike brands with accompanying media to boost the show and also invite brand ambassadors from each country with all the respective bike brands; I am sure their bike brands would want to find distributors outside of their country of origin.
Locally, we need a lot more support from the manufacturers themselves, like Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki and Ducati, all of whom were not present at the show. Sadly I do not know why, but it should not be that way. We have not been around for very long, but I know Singapore’s volume is very little, so maybe we should look into Singapore become an international bike hub.
Its a combined effort by many countries, the media and brand owners. So you can see the European dealers, distributors or trading companies come to Singapore and scout out Asian brands to distribute in their home country. It can happen, but depends on whether we want to do it or not.
For our booth, when we first took it, we targeted it at for a helmet brand we distribute, KYT. KYT, being an international brand already, having riders in MotoGP, is good value especially when you consider that Arai helmets are retailing for SGD$500 and up, we are selling KYT helmets from SGD$150, this is why we sell a lot. During the course of the show, we sold a lot as we came prepared with a lot of stocks – so its definitely good!
Remember to check out the 2016 Singapore Bike Show - Part 1, Part 2 (Models) & our 9tro Angels in the image link below: