As per an Economic Times report, India Yamaha Motor has decided to drift away from mass-market motorcycles and instead focus on the premium segment of the Indian two-wheeler market. In the current financial year (FY2018-19), a majority of the sales for the Indian arm of the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer have come from the premium products like the YZF-R15 V3.0, the FZ series and the scooter portfolio.
For instance the YZF-R15 V3.0 has registered a year-on-year growth of 231% growth in October 2018. The commuter motorcycles, on the other hand, have had insignificant contributions to the sales. In October, the Saluto and Saluto RX reported negative year-on-year sales of 92 per cent and 67 per cent respectively versus October 2017. The Yamaha SZ managed a marginal rise of 8 per cent during the month against October last year.
April to October 2018 Yamaha model sales:
Yamaha India’s newly appointed Chairman, Motofumi Shitara, said that the company’s focus in motorcycles will shift to the deluxe and premium segments (150cc and above). He also added that scooters might play mass-market participation. Meanwhile, the 100-110cc motorcycles, which did not clock the expected sales targets in India, will be exported to markets like Africa and Latin America. One example is Yamaha exporting the Crux Rev to emerging markets since last year.
While he remained tight-lipped on the upcoming products, he confirmed that India Yamaha Motor is studying motorcycles above 300cc and premium scooters with an engine displacement of 125-150cc.
Therefore, what can we expect from Yamaha in the future?
Speaking about its popular RX range that was a favourite in the 90s, Shitara said that he would like to capture its (RX100) character in the future portfolio. The retro-classic market recently witnessed the comeback of Jawa brand to the Indian market under Classic Legends. The Mahindra & Mahindra subsidiary is also planning to revive the BSA and Yezdi brands in India. Royal Enfield, too, has targeted the nostalgic value of its products from the past with the launch of the Interceptor INT 650 and the Continental GT 650.
Shitara told Economic Times:
We need to find our own space and own DNA for the Indian market. There has to be fun in commuting — excitement in riding is what we are trying to bring about in our future products... We expect people to upgrade in the future and we will have a suitable portfolio to meet their needs. Majority of young customers like to have differentiated products and they are bored with the majority of the mass-market models.
India Yamaha Motor has 100 engineers working in its R&D centre. The company aims to strengthen its R&D in India and wants the country to look at the development of bikes beyond localisation of parts. The 2020 Auto Expo could serve as the stage to introduce new products or ideas for the Indian market.