‘Big 4’ motorcycle firms slam imitators

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Friday, March 14, 2014


THE country’s top motorcycle manufacturers have waged war against makers of imitation motorcycles and spare parts anew as the companies’ third year anti-imitation campaign kicked off at SM City Mall Cagayan de Oro Friday.

Fierce business rivals in the past, the companies dubbed as the “Big 4” – Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha – banded together to fight the proliferation of imported copycat motorcycle units.

The manufacturers agreed that these fake motorcycles are endangering the lives of the riding public.

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Peter Salvadico, Yamaha regional sales manager for Northern Mindanao, said that what makes the original brands different from the counterfeit ones is their concern for the safety of their customers.

Salvadico said people buy the fake motorcycles because they’re cheap but they are not aware of the danger that these vehicles pose.

“Copycats (motorcycle makers) don’t care if the lives of their customers are at risk. Nakamura ka nga but the danger is there,” Salvadico said.

Although the proliferation of the fake motorcycles has been noticeable, Salvadico said the legitimate motorcycle firms are not actually threatened since the Big 4 still dominate the market.

In Cagayan de Oro, the original brands still corner 70 to 80 percent of the market share, while the copycats only have 20 to 30 percent, he added.

Unfazed, Salvadico said the makers of imitation motorcycles have even accused the Big 4 of resorting to propaganda campaign to discredit them.

“But it’s more than that. If you can see nag-unite kami,” Salvadico said.

Cesar Mugas, Honda Philippines Incorporated area manager, said they are not really affected in terms of sales.

What they are after, Mugas said, is to inform the buying public through their campaign.

“Educating them is our obligation to our customers,” he added.

Legal actions

Mugas said the four companies have already filed legal actions against the makers of imitation motorcycles that are facing charges of violation of intellectual property rights (IPR).

“The IPR cases are being handles by the legal department. Cases are ongoing in the court,” Mugas told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro during an exclusive interview Friday.

He, however, declined to mention the names of the companies involved in the cases.

Mugas added these companies are in trouble with the law as they also violate the Consumers Welfare Act which the Department of Trade and Industry must enforce.

He said the Bureau of Customs should also crack down on the entry of these imitation motorcycle units and parts into the country, which did not go through the proper procedure.

Mugas said they are appealing to the motorcycle-riding public to buy only the original brands. (With a report from Erwin M. Mascariñas, Correspondent)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 15, 2014.

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