Yamaha banks on scooters to charge ahead
Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
The Yamaha Ray is the lone scooter offering from the Japanese two wheeler giant who is known for performance motorcycles. The new found focus on scooters could mean that there could be few more scooters lined up for launch as the year progresses.
Taking to Business Standard, Mr. Masaki Asano, Managing Director of Yamaha India Sales Pvt. Ltd. stated that, "At this point we are not focusing on high-end bikes; rather we would create new segments. We also see exports an area which we cannot afford to miss."
There are reports that Yamaha is working on scooters in the 110cc-150cc segment. The company expects to sell 5,00,000 units this year against last year's 3,50,000. About half of the sales is expected to come from scooters.
As far as exports go, the estimated volume stands at 2,10,000 units against last year's 1,50,000 units. The growth in the sales would be supported by doubling the number of dealers and bike stations. Yamaha currently have around 400 dealers and 250 bike stations. Moreover, the upcoming plant in Chennai is expected to be on stream by mid-2014 with an annual capacity of 1.8 million units.
While the rivals are gearing up to attack the premium bike segment in a big way, it is interesting that Yamaha, who has been there and done that, is taking a different approach.