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Main Topic: Motorcycle Repair Chinese Style

Hosts: Stephen Huang , James Stanworth , Clyde Warden

Motorcycles are everywhere in Asia, and Taiwan is packed with them. This makes motorcycle repair shops nearly as common as 7-11s, which means on every main street and often just a block away from another repair shop. In this show, Stephen, James, and Clyde look at the motorcycle repair market from plenty of personal experience, compare it to its Western counterpart and speculate on future opportunities and the influence of Chinese consumer behavior.

There is not a single family in Taiwan that does not own more than one scooter. With this in mind, the future of scooter repair looks to remain full of opportunity. There is a lot of room, however, for improvement in standardization, along the lines of what the car repair industry has done in Taiwan. Currently, although a show may show a Honda or Yamaha sign, there is little guarantee that the shop's procedures are up to any standard. This is especially true, since the whole convenience gained from these numerous shops is that they repair ANY brand. Imagine driving your Nissan in for repairs at the Ford dealer. 

Could a firm come in and take advantage of this huge market? Walmart's experience with auto repair shows that mechanics and their work are difficult to standardize, and this can lead to be customer feelings, which then reflect on the brand. In Taiwan, if you don't like your mechanic, you can just change--in other words, blame the shop owner, not the brand.

WTO rules have forced Taiwan to allow larger motorcycles, much as Hong Kong has had for decades. Recently, there have been a flurry of store openings, full of inventory. Since many of this inventory would require pre-payment, we wonder who long these shops can hold on. 

The future of this market could be bifurcated, as larger specialized motorcycle shops, like BMW , Harley Davidson Ducati , and others, sell to the high end buyers who use the products more for self expression than as a practical tool. 

A possible market gap is to provide a standardized workshop service by the scoter company.

The Show:

Length: 46 minutes. Download MP3 21.6 MB (Right click->Save As).


Consumer Cam ConsumerCam:

Here my local repair shop owners helped me cut a hole in a computer case part--very good relationship building.

Show Links:

Bottom Line:

  • Scooter is the most common mode of transport in Taiwan. SYM, Kymco, Yamaha have the majority market share.
  • The availabilities of scooter mechanics are high, they repair all brands.
  • Normally the scooter shop/mechanic are privately owned, sometimes a family business, it’s easier to build a consumer relationship
  • The skill of the mechanics are hard to standardize.
  • Providing good service is a way of building consumer relationship e.g. repair small things free of charge.
  • Heavy motor cycles have a niche market in Taiwan, mostly purchased for hedonic reasons.
  • The mechanic market is fairly saturated in Taiwan.
Category: Podcasts

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