Yamaha to Enter Scooter Segment for Sure

Scooters have always proved to provide a good ROI in India right from the time they were launched here. Bajaj dominated the market for a long time (of course, with the geared ones!). Then came the Japanese maker Honda which thoroughly studied the market and the dominated with just one model – The Honda Activa.

But, still I always felt that India lacks the power scooters – Scooters which are really powerful to take bikes head-on. The only model and company which catered this need was the Kinetic with its Blaze model. This particular model was a big flop in the Indian market and the company was forced to stop the production itself.

Now, Yamaha Motor India (YMI), a fully owned subsidiary of Japan’s Yamaha is seriously planning to enter the scooter segment. That doesn’t mean in any aspect that they’ll come up with fierce looking high displacement engine scooters.

Mr. Hiroyuki Suzuki, CEO and managing director  of Yamaha Motor India said in an interview to the Business Standard, “We are planning to launch scooters next year. We will share the details at an appropriate time. We definitely see our foray into the segment as something that will strengthen our foothold in the two-wheeler segment. We are hopeful our entry will provide an impetus to rev up sales and increase our market share.”

This means that the company should have already started working on the scooter for India by now. But, the sad part is that we have no clues about the model.

Regarding the future plans of the company, “We will launch top-end products since we are doing quite well in the premium and deluxe segments where we aim to achieve 20 per cent share by the end of this year. We see a high demand for such products in the B and C category towns and in rural markets. We also aim to achieve one million unit sales by 2013 and look to invest $10 million by 2012 in capacity expansion as well as in new product development.” he said.

When asked about the ones doing well in terms of sales, Mr. Suzuki said, “Speaking in terms of sales, our premium and deluxe segment models (which simply means 150cc+ ) YZF-R15, FZ series and SZ series have done extremely well in the Indian market. We have been able to achieve a market share of 14 per cent in deluxe segment over the last two months. We will continue to focus on this segment, particularly in B and C category towns to increase the penetration levels. However, our focus will not lessen in the entry-level segment as this segment has also been instrumental in driving sales.

He also confirmed the fact that YMI will open its third plant by the end of this year. Regarding this he said, “We have facilities at Surajpur in Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad in Haryana. The Surajpur plant can roll out 600,000 motorcycles a year, which can be expanded to one million units, while the Faridabad plant can manufacture engines and other components. So, there is no immediate need. But yes, we will start planning for a new factory by the end of this year.”

Finally he answered a question regarding the future strategy of the company by saying. “We plan to sell 500,000 motorcycles this year (domestic 350,000 units and export 150,000 units) and look to achieve overall 10 per cent market share over the next few years with new product offerings, enhanced sales and service network and strong marketing initiatives.”

This clearly reveals the fact that Yamaha Motor India has indeed got very clear ideas atleast for the next few years especially for the Indian market. Great going Yamaha!

Source : Business Standard

Author – BikeAdvice.in