A State of Downfall?: Malaysian Motorcycle Industry

image credited to asserogear
image credited to asserogear

Nothing last forever and indeed it does not last very long for the motorcycle industry here in Malaysia. Our organization started back in 2011 by doing some writings and reports on local and international motoring news; which was rephrased by our own words (most of the time) to be served among our very small followers group at the time. Then we hit the jackpot and boomed to grow organically ever since; to reach where we are now and undoubtedly, we are still small. But nevertheless, the growth was positive for us and we enjoyed every bit of it as we took a ride on Malaysia’s most exciting industry development between the year 2010 and early 2014.

The end of 2016 is nearing and the state of the industry seems to be in a very bad shape compared to the last 12 months back. Malaysian Riders organization was lucky to be partnering with a few local motorcycle dealers and at the same time being accepted occasionally by the industry major players and manufacturers to gain enough information on what’s going on in the business. Our initial approach to the industry started high and positive; where we believed there are lots of possibilities for young new businesses to grow and engage in a competitive yet healthy industry at the time. It was great for everyone for a short while until suddenly; everything starts to tip down and continuing to fall.

If we zoom out from the scope of motorcycle industry, we can already see there are struggles in every business sectors there is. But our focus is only in the two wheels motoring segment and it’s business ecosystem; which includes accessories, services and etc. As of the day before this article being published, we had meetings and encounters with all kind of individuals who are involved directly in the motorcycle related business. What we found out was alarming and at the same time gave us chills just by hearing how damaged the industry is and it didn’t happen just because of the global economy situation or by our government colorful drama; it happened because a few industry players decided to do just about anything to make maximum profits out of everything they possibly can.

As our writer work on this article, we already lost a few motoring business friends across multiple segments. Motorcycle dealers and workshops closed, magazines closed, PR companies closed, cafes and restaurants closed, accessories and brands closed and the list goes on and on till somehow you find a little something that you yourself know and didn’t realized that they have left the business. The reality is a little bit worrying. So what’s the focus of this article other than stating the probably obvious situation that we are currently facing? It’s about call for realignment and putting back a turnaround strategy that not only works for one’s business but also to support the motoring industry back. It’s about stabilizing back the industry and nurtures it back to become a healthier business arena.

Pressekonferenz Triumph, Street Twin, Halle 9 [image credited to spiegel]
Pressekonferenz Triumph, Street Twin, Halle 9 [image credited to spiegel]

So how do we do that? It starts with passion of the industry itself. Throughout the time we’ve spent on this journey; we’ve met with a few interesting characters that simply jump on board the train hoping to reach the final destination without even trying to be passionate about the whole idea. They only see an opportunity to multiply their money and use whatever means necessary to reach their goals. Without passion, it can only last for so long and the logical calculation kicks in which usually means going away from the industry and leaving it with a mess. This happens every time and everywhere; be it individuals or even organizations which ultimately making the industry unstable with the game they played.

What do we mean by the game they played? People can be very greedy at times and when it happens; they tend to use any possible ways to create a shortcut in reaching their goals. This can sometimes be a clever move, but it leaves a significant mark to the business and making it difficult for others to navigate an already polluted waters where price throwing, back door dealings, bad mouthing and whatever cheeky and witty moves you can imagine being used as part of their business tools. Yes, one can say “hey, it’s the survival of the fittest game out there” and this is true. Very much true; but that doesn’t mean we should throw away our ethics in executing our business operations. This one reason builds up a very damaging and viral like infection to the whole business arena.

An infection that can ultimately pollute the whole arena with bad reputations and untrustworthiness between consumers and the businesses they hope to engage. What we need now is to create a much harmonious business environment so that, instead of driving the consumers away due to their economical decision; we can attract them to stay and use their decisions to our advantage by offering other options that might work for their needs. But this will require a lot of industry players to review back their policies and strategies which may have been a little bit unethical and oppressive, and change them to a much transparent and fair for everyone to engage with. This goes to all level of business activities from manufacturers to those small workshops in between trees somewhere in the villages.

We are now in the middle of a very much real state of downfall for the motorcycle industry here in Malaysia. No matter how much we want to sugar coat our perspectives on the situation right now, we have to accept the reality of how bad the industry has become. Our presence is small in this world and can be very insignificant to the global players, no matter how many times they say we are an “important” market to them. The truth is, we need them more than they need us. It is time for us to be more passionate and be sensitive towards handling our approach and process in the motoring business. We can be aggressive and sometimes even brutal, maybe aggressive in giving exceptional experience to the consumers and brutal in criticizing our own self. Yes, this goes to us Malaysian Riders organization too. Ultimately, we hope to see a change on the industry for the better. We’re not always right, but there might be something that can inspires progress. Think again.


2 thoughts on “A State of Downfall?: Malaysian Motorcycle Industry

  1. I agree for the most part about the situation of Malaysian motorcycle industry, at the end of the day it’s the consumer which is being short changed. We can blame few greedy local resellers or agents or the Malaysian partners for bike brands, but final responsibility lies with the government to regulate the prices and not allow such practices. The tax system is broken and needs re-evaluation by the government but its highly unlikely as it’s raking in untold billion, and highly unlikely that the government will change it anytime soon.
    Malaysia’s economy is not doing very well, plus the implementation of GST (which was a necessity) only exaggerated the problem. At the end of the day, there must be a consumer for your product and if the consumer refuses to buy your product/ services the business is done.
    One last thing, you should name those unsavory players you been referring to in this article, half told truths wont help the situation.

    1. unfortunately, we can’t really unveil names or any parties that are known to be doing some unfair trading activities in this context.
      But what we can do is to get more feedbacks from the bottom line players (end line likes dealers) to speak about it or discuss about it.
      All in all, it will take a whole lot of effort from our team.

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