Ever imagined a bike from a brand like Yamaha that would be priced as low as 25k or 27k in India? What would your initial reactions be if you get to know what I have just written is not anything imaginative but a story true to the core?
Yamaha has recently opened up an R&D center in India at its Surajpur plant located in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This was inaugurated in the month of February this year. The low cost bike we are talking about would be one of the centre’s flagship projects that Yamaha would concentrate on.
India is certainly a great market for such kind of cheaper but good-quality products and Yamaha just wants to capitalize on that. A low cost bike aimed fully on the rural markets will certainly enhance the company’s performance in terms of playing the numbers game.
The R&D center mentioned above is the fifth of its kind for the Japanese giant. In fact, Yamaha is planning to open up one more center of the same kind once the Chennai plant gets fully functional.
The company has expressed that India would be the global hub for low cost bike manufacturing and besides catering to the needs of domestic requirements, it would also be exported to other countries in Africa and Latin America.
Commenting on the low cost bike, Mr. Toshikazu Kobayashi, Managing Director, YMRI (Yamaha Motor Research and Development India Pvt Ltd) said that their objective is to develop the lowest cost model in the world along with low cost parts. Yamaha intends to develop the cheapest bike at around 500USD for both India and export markets.
Yamaha also cleared that this bike will be first launched in India and later on it will be considered for other markets like Africa and Latin America. Yamaha also pointed out that the company’s current focus has been on sporty, stylish and performance bikes in India and now they are looking at increasing their presence in the commuter segment.
Developing the product in India will also give the company a significant cost advantage and they intend to sell a total of a mammoth 28 lakh units by the year 2018. On the shorter term, Yamaha targets to sell 10 lakh units in 2015 including exports.
Considering that Yamaha’s stint in the entry level segment has not been a real success in India and people generally associate Yamaha’s name with cool looking performance oriented bikes, how will this new strategy do for the company remains a question mark. Nonetheless, a 25-27k price ticker will still lure guys, obviously if they stick to this tag until the bike’s final production.
The final question is; Will you buy it?