Will also come in an electric variant.
Japanese newspaper Nikkei has reported that Yamaha Motor is planning to manufacture and sell compact cars in Europe from around 2019. The company's president Hiroyuki Yanagi confirmed to this news to the paper on Thursday.
The company will allocate "tens of billions of yen" to construct a plant that will churn out two-seater cars, it reported.
The model will be for "short-distance driving as demand for efficient compacts grows worldwide." The company will leverage its know-how from the motorcycle division to develop the agile vehicles.
Yanagi said the auto market is diversifying and the compact car project is a business opportunity. Yamaha has never mass-produced a four-wheeler for road-use anywhere in the world.
The company has chosen Europe due to "suitable city planning". The plant's location and production volume, the newspaper reports, has not been decided. However both electric and petrol variants will be made. The former will be strapped with outsourced motor and batteries, and the latter would use an in-house 1-liter engine.
It is to be noted that Yamaha has sold over 3 million engines to Toyota, and its engines have powered Ford and Volvo models.
IHS Automotive predicts that vehicle production globally will increase by 21 million units by 2021, and small cars will make about 40% of that total.
Yamaha, in association with South African born motor racing engineer Gordon Murray, who designed the revolutionary McLaren F1, had showcased the prototype MOTIV at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Built on a tubular frame, the two-seater measured 2.69 m long.
[Source - Nikkei.com]