Interview Antoine Coulon (Kawasaki): Z800 and ER-6n had a superb last season
With 12,659 registrations, Kawasaki posted an increase of + 10.2% on the French motorcycle and scooter market. Antoine Coulon, Marketing Manager of Kawasaki France, establishes for Site the 2016 report of the Japanese brand and reveals its 2017 objectives.
Site: The Euro 4 emission standard has forced you to update your range for 2017 and to delete certain products from your catalog … Costly in two ways, can this standard nevertheless boost your sales next year thanks to to the attraction of many new products ?
Antoine Coulon, marketing manager of Kawasaki France: The Euro 4 standard is an excellent opportunity for Kawasaki to review its range, create completely new models and modernize existing machines. For 2017, Kawasaki is launching eight major novelties, (,,,,,,,), we are very confident about our sales volumes.
- MNC special file : New Kawasaki 2017
MNC: Another restriction introduced in mid-2016 this time, the A2 license "for all" he boosted sales of your models and 35 kW kits ?
A. C .: The actual implementation of this new measure took place in December 2016. It is still too early to be able to analyze the impact of the new A2 permit. We will have more visibility after a full year of marketing.
- MNC special file :
MNC: Always cleaner and safer (ABS or compulsory combined braking), motorized two-wheelers are still not considered as a solution in town (alternating traffic, ban in town center, etc.). Are there ways to change this ?
A. C .: Manufacturers have understood the expectations of cities / town halls, and continuously continue to adapt (see to anticipate) legislation (ABS, Euro 4 …). Representatives of manufacturers (CSIAM), users (FFMC and FFM) continue to work actively to highlight the undeniable advantages of the use of two wheels (lower emissions, optimization of public space …).
- MNC special file : Motorized two-wheelers in town
- MNC special file : Electric motorcycles and scooters
MNC: The 2017 Paris Motorcycle Show has been postponed … until when and for what reasons do you think? Would a hypothetical cancellation be penalizing for your activity? ?
A. C .: The Paris motorcycle show represents a significant budget, both for manufacturers and for props. It would be a shame if the show did not last, because this event is a real showcase for all the motorcycle players. A working hypothesis for 2018 is being analyzed.
- MNC of January 17, 2017 :
- MNC Premium :
MNC: How do you feel about the overall evolution of the French motorcycle market in 2016? ?
A. C .: The motorcycle market (+125 cc, excluding scooters) has grown strongly by + 11%, a real first since 2008 (with certainly some Euro 3 end-of-series from some manufacturers)! With all the novelties for 2017, it’s a safe bet that the market will still follow this trend for the coming season..
- MNC Premium :
MNC: What is your assessment for your brand in 125 and large cubes? ?
A. C .: With the retrofit and the arrival of Euro 4, large cubes (over 100 hp) were very popular in 2016. We achieved good overall market shares and we can therefore say that all our models are popular..
- MNC special file :
MNC: Which models have performed particularly well this year ?
A. C .: Our two bestsellers, Z800 and ER-6n, had a superb last sales season, ranking 2nd and 3rd best French sales respectively. We also sold nearly 600 Ninja ZX-10Rs, which is roughly three times the 2015 volume..
MNC: Who are those who have stayed behind? Why ?
L. F .: The J125 is a little below our targets. It is a very competitive market and it is difficult to find a place among the tenors.
- J125 test :
MNC: Did your new products reach their commercial objectives? ?
A. C .: All business goals have been met.
MNC: What was the pleasant surprise of your year 2016? And the less good ?
A. C .: The good surprise is that we sold everything very quickly, a real success! The worst part is that our dealers lacked a bit on certain models at the very end of the year. The price of success !
MNC: According to you, what was the highlight of 2016 in the world of two-wheelers? ?
A. C .: The retrofit and the end of the law of 100 horses, after more than 30 years of existence in France.
MNC: What are your good resolutions for the year 2017 ?
A. C .: Continue to develop our image and our network, stay true to our DNA and be the leader in motorcycle sales in France (+125 cc motorcycles, excluding scooters).
MNC: What are your major events in 2017 ?
A. C .: We are setting out again to attack the 24h of Le Mans and we intend to keep our title of record holder for victories at Le Mans! We will also be present at the Bol d’Or (which will count for the 2018 championship) as well as for the entire French Superbike championship. And we will present our flagship models (such as the Ninja H2) at the Chantilly Concours d’Elegance.
MNC: To conclude, what did you order from Santa this year? ?
A. C .: For the first year, Kawasaki renews at the same time its two bestsellers, ER-6n and Z800. It will therefore be a big challenge for the Z650 and Z900. But given the enthusiasm of the fans for these two new machines, it seems that our request to Santa Claus has already been granted. !
Interview by Matthieu BRETILLE
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