Vietnam is one of the countries that sell the largest number of motorcycles in the world. The operation revenue of motorcycle manufacturers reaches billions of dollars every year. However, many large enterprises had to admit that the market growth was slowing down in recent years. As a Chinese brand in Vietnam, Lifan advances through the rapids and seeks development in adversity. MEGA CHINAMOTOR had the honor to interview Mr. Pei Wenxian, Executive Deputy General Manager of Lifan Vietnam.
MEGA CHINAMOTOR：Would you please introduce the current basic situation of Vietnamese market?
Mr. Pei: In Vietnam, the motorcycle is a necessity and a major transportation tool for people to go out and travel around. Vietnam is a true "Kingdom of Motorcycle", and motorcycle is also called the “national vehicle” by Vietnamese people.
Currently, the number of various types of motorcycles in Vietnam exceeds 45 million units, which amounts to one motorcycle for every two people. This number has far surpassed the previous plan of 36 million units in 2020, so the market has gradually become saturated. According to the Vietnam Association of Motorcycle Manufacture (VAMM), for the five largest motorcycle companies in Vietnam, Honda Vietnam holds a largest market share of 70%. Honda produces 15 models, Yamaha produces 13 models, SYM produces 11 models, and Piaggio and Suzuki respectively have 10 models and 6 models. After two consecutive years of decline, the Vietnam motorcycle market has come to a stale state in 2016, with a sales number of 2.8 million units. Thereinto, the sales of Honda Vietnam exceeds 1.9 million units, an increase of 3%, and taking up 70% of the market share.
MEGA CHINAMOTOR：What is Lifan's sales pattern in Vietnam? What are the major models sold there?
Mr. Pei: In Vietnam, we practice the sales pattern of regional agent combining with provincial agent system. The major models Lifan sells in Vietnam market include KP series of 125cc to 200cc, retro series of 100cc to 110cc, and cub series of 50cc. It covers the product line of all levels of middle and high-end market.
MEGA CHINAMOTOR：What about the target consumers of Lifan motorcycles in Vietnam?
Mr. Pei: The consumer group of KP series and retro models is the young and middle-aged people. The 50cc cubs mainly service the students under 18 and the old people.
MEGA CHINAMOTOR：What influence has Chinese motorcycle industry exerted on Vietnam market？
Mr. Pei: The entering of Chinese motorcycle into Vietnam market has ended the monopoly of Japanese motorcycles, which lowered the price of motorcycle and make it affordable for average people. As living conditions in Vietnam improved, many children ride a 50cc motorcycle to go to school. Lifan follows the market trend and establishes a factory in Vietnam to bring good quality motorcycles to thousands of households. On December 30, 2001, Lifan rider successfully flew over the mother river of Vietnam - Red River on a Lifan LF150GY. It has realized the first overseas overfly of Chinese motorcycle. Lifan motorcycle has won the trust of Vietnamese people with its excellent quality.
MEGA CHINAMOTOR: How will Lifan adjust itself to adapt to the current changing Vietnamese market?
Mr. Pei: We are going to look at it from five aspects.
Firstly, basing on the student group market, we will gradually expand the independently-developed KP sport series and retro series to make overall development of profit model and share model.
Secondly, we will increase technology development, including technical personnel and technical equipment, to improve overall quality level.
Thirdly, for marketing policies and strategies, we will expand network sales, vigorously promote new products, and avoid the positive competition to promote sport bikes.
Fourthly, in terms of price, we will try to achieve more affordable prices.
Fifthly, we will carry out the 24-hour online problem solving and 48-hour parts arrival scheme. We will train and coach the after-sales team regularly to improve our service level and enhance the quality consciousness.
MEGA CHINAMOTOR：What plans does Lifan Vietnam company have for the future?
Mr. Pei: First of all, in terms of company size, Lifan Vietnam company now has 150 employees, including 12 developing engineers, and 9 Chinese experts. The company has three engine assembly lines capable of producing 200,000 unit engines every year, and one motorcycle assembly line capable of producing 80,000 motorcycles every year.
Secondly, for personnel allocation, we will carry out the localization process in a comprehensive manner, aperiodically invite developing engineers from Lifan Group to Vietnam factory for technical guidance, and send Vietnamese employees to Lifan for learning and training. We will entirely realize localization of middle management, and reserve local management talents.
Thirdly, for product technology, using the R&D technology platform of Lifan Group, we will continuously improve the product quality level. We plan to launch 3 to 4 new models every year to satisfy the needs of Vietnam market.
Fourthly, for sales models, we will lay emphasis on the sales of 50cc student models to drive the sales of self-developed model. And meanwhile, we are to strive to develop small sport bikes and street bikes.
Finally, in terms of environment protection, the localized models will be up to Vietnamese National III standard, and the imported models will be up to National IV standard.