Yamaha Motor Company may introduce multiple products to double its share in local two-wheeler market

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Japanese auto major Yamaha Motor Company is working on introducing multiple products in the premium motorcycle and scooter segments to more than double its share in the local two-wheeler market over the next five years.

The company, which currently has a market share of 3.7%, is looking at bolstering its presence in the 125 cc scooter and 150cc and 250 cc motorcycle segments to draw in new-age customers. Overall, the aim is to increase market share to 8.7% by 2025.

“In India, 51.6% of the total two-wheeler purchases comprise commuter segment models up to 125cc segment, and we feel that this section of buyers will aspire to own a premium product that’s exciting, stylish and sporty, eventually making a shift to the 150cc class, as for 150cc segment today, is the new age commuter segment”, said Motofumi Shitara, Chairman, Yamaha Motor Group India, adding, “Hence, we have set a target to achieve an 8.7% market share by 2025, for which our strategy for India is to strengthen our product portfolio in the 125cc scooter segment, and the 150cc & 250cc motorcycle segment, for young age customers.”

India Yamaha Motor – which reported a decline of 9.35% to sell 524,186 two-wheelers in the last financial year – already has a market share of 19% in the 149-250 cc motorcycle segment. The company launched its latest product in the space, the Yamaha FZ-X priced upwards of Rs 1.17 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) Friday. Sales of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in the overall market fell 13% to 15.1 million units last fiscal.

Shitara said that even though two-wheeler sales in the domestic market have declined the past two years, the future of the Indian two-wheeler industry is “strong and reassuring”.

“As markets open up again, we are expecting the industry to ride on a positive growth curve as the pandemic has brought about a drastic shift in consumer purchasing behavior and the need for personal transport has increased as people prefer personal mobility over shared and public transportation, to ensure social distancing and personal hygiene,” he said.

Automobile retailers too have been innovating their tools of customer reach and engagement and resorting to various digital initiatives to make the most of the upcoming festive season, which will prove crucial to meeting this year’s industry targets.

Yamaha, which resumed production earlier this month, is currently operating on a single-shift basis at both its manufacturing facilities. Efforts are on to vaccinate a majority of the company’s workforce at the earliest, post which it will ramp up production. The company now has dealerships functional in green zones with limited staff to ensure social distancing and is working closely with channel partners and suppliers to minimize the impact of this interruption and focus on the optimization of stock till production resumes at full capacity.

“Since state governments have been directing lockdowns with a clear time frame, companies have been able to plan and channel their economic activities in a better way, so the economic condition isn’t as badly hit as it was before. Hence, we are expecting a fast-paced market recovery and stability”, said Shitara.

As far as electric vehicles are concerned, Yamaha has a dedicated team at its headquarters in Japan working on an all-new electric vehicle platform for India and other global markets, Shitara said the company has been manufacturing electric vehicles, in association with Gogoro, the past two years. “So, the technology and the expertise to develop and manufacture EV models are already in place. But we are contemplating factors like pricing, performance, and infrastructure before rolling out any products for the Indian market”, he added.

Yamaha Motor has a total installed capacity to produce 1.55 million two-wheelers. The company has invested Rs 1,600 crore since 2015 in India.

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