Electric bike from Yamaha soon!


Japanese auto giant Yamaha today said it might consider launching an electric bike in the fast growing Indian two-wheeler market to offer an alternative mode transportation.

The company's wholly-owned subsidiary, India Yamaha Motor, is also developing an India-specific scooter that will hit the roads in the "near future". Besides, it will launch two new bikes in the country in this year.



"For rising fuel prices, electric bike is a good option. Currently we are selling electric bikes in Japan and Europe. There is a possibility for the Indian market for introducing these products," India Yamaha Motor Director (Sales and Marketing) Jun Nakata told PTI.

He, however, did not share details like specifications and when the firm was likely to launch the products in India.

Last year, the company had said it would focus more on India with more investments and aimed to have 10% of its total global sales from the country within the next 3-4 years.

When asked about its plans for the scooter segment, Nakata said: "We are preparing to enter the scooter market. The product is under development in Japan and it will be an India-specific product."

Last year, the company had announced conducting a study on the Indian scooter market and it was expected to be complete by the middle of 2010.

Nakata said the company was taking longer than expected to come out with the product because the auto giant "wants to offer the best" to the Indian consumers.

Asked when the company is likely to launch the scooter, he said it would be in the "near future".

Taking about its plans for the current year, India Yamaha Motor National Business Head Roy Kurian said: "Every year we launch new products. This year we will introduce two new bikes and some variants of the existing models."

Without giving any detail of the new products, he said the firm was consolidating its position in the 150cc segment.

"Last year we sold 3.7 lakh units, including exports of 1.2 lakh units. Our target this year is to sell 40-50% more than that of last year," Kurian said.

He said the company was aiming for a 10%share in the next three years in the Indian two-wheeler market, which is estimated to grow to 1.5-1.6 crore units from about 1 crore units at present.

The company, which has two facilities in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, have a combined installed production capacity of 6 lakh units a year that can be scaled up to 10 lakh units every year.