January 12, 2021 11:23
Sales of motorcycles are surging thanks to a boom in food deliveries during the coronavirus lockdown.
Lee Bok-shin (60) has run a motorbike dealership in Seoul's Chungmuro for more than 30 years. "Sales of large leisure motorbikes have fallen, but those of mopeds for food delivery have jumped about 20 percent."
There has been no need for him to cut his staff of eight in lockdown.
Lee, who is also the chief of a motorbike dealers association in the area, added, "None of the 30 motorbike dealerships here closed down last year."
According to Korea Credit Data, which tracks sales of 660,000 nationwide small businesses, the revenues of small businesses across the country nosedived 34 percent on-year in the last week of last December. But those of motorbike dealerships and repair shops surged 27 percent.
But there is a flip side since many start food delivery because they have closed their own business or lost their job to the epidemic.
"Three in every 10 motorbike buyers said they'd had no experience in food delivery before," another motorbike dealer in the area said. "One buyer said he'd closed his clothing store in Dongdaemun Market and wanted to begin food delivery. Another said he'd lost his job."
According to the Road Traffic Authority, 139,344 people applied for motorbike driving tests last year, up 16.3 percent from 2019.
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