The current hot favorite in the sports biking segment is the quarter litre displacement segment, almost all the performance motorcycle manufacturers are queuing up to launch their own variant of the 250cc bike in India. Companies like the Kawasaki, Honda and Hyosung have already established their presence in this segment while others are chalking out plans. In this battle for 250cc supremacy, how can Yamaha get left behind! Finally, to the much expectation of Yamaha lovers, the Japanese motorcycle maker has announced that it will be launching a 250cc motorcycle in 2014.
Managing director and chief executive officer of Yamaha Motor Corporation, Hiroyuki Suzuki told reporters, “We will focus on the scooters category for next two years, but in 2014 we will launch powerful sporty 250cc bike in the Indian market. There is a good market for this premium segment which we would like to tap.” Next in line from the company will be a mass market 125cc segment motorcycle which will be launched in 2015 probably. This mass market commuter motorcycle is expected to be assembled at Yamaha’s upcoming brand new assembly plant in Chennai. Currently, the plant is under construction and will become operational by 2014. Until 2014, as clearly mentioned by Mr. Suzuki, Yamaha is going to work on strengthening its presence in the scooter market in India.
Mr. Suzuki also added in his statement,” The motorcycles manufactured in India meet the advanced specification of developed markets and they are produced at a lower cost. The price is almost double in Japanese market. We are sending R15 to Japan to test market, and if the response is good, we may explore more products for export to Japan and other advanced markets.” well, the sad part about this development is contrary to Yamaha’s belief, it is going to lose out considerably on the 250cc market segment with its delayed strategy. Although I duly appreciate Yamaha’s initiative to focus on the scooter market with the Ray, a 250cc displacement motorcycle launched at this time would have worked wonders for the company.