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Honda shifts gear in the Philippines with bigger, flashier models

Japanese bike maker sheds workhorse image in line with changing demographics

Honda Motor aims to capture the Philippine youth market with bigger bikes.

MANILA -- After years of barely maintaining its lead in the Philippine motorcycle market -- despite its dominance in other Southeast Asian countries -- Honda Motor is waking up to shifting consumer trends in the country, pivoting away from light two-wheelers toward sportier and heavier bikes.

"Honda two-wheelers have the image of being functional, bare-bones bikes in the Philippines," Shinji Aoyama, the company's chief officer for Asia and Oceania operations, said after presenting eight new models on Saturday. "The demand for large models is growing in Asia, and we seek to strengthen Honda's brand and capture new customer demographics."

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