Yamaha building scooter for India market in Japan


India Yamaha Motors India is gearing up to foray into the fast growing scooter segment in the country with an all-new product that parent Yamaha Motor Corporation (YMC) is developing specifically for the Indian market.

Roy Kurian, national business head, India Yamaha Motors, said, “We were studying the Indian market intensively over the last two years to gauge the requirements of customers here. We decided we needed a new product for the consumers here. A product is in development at our R&D centre in Japan, which would be introduced shortly.”

Industry sources indicate a gearless scooter from the Yamaha fold is likely to hit Indian roads by the end of next year.

Kurian, however, declined to specify a definite timeline and technical specifications of the scooter the company is considering for introduction in the Indian market.

Scooters, at present, account for nearly 18 per cent of sales in the overall two-wheeler market in India. The segment is posting strong growth numbers with sales increasing by around 47 per cent between April and January this financial year to 1.7 million units. An electric scooter may also be launched for India in due course.

Additionally, the company is also considering introducing two new motorbikes in India in the course of the year, which may include possible upgrades.

Kurian added, “We want to consolidate our position in the market here. We sold 2.5 lakh units in India last year. This year, we expect to grow by at least 50 per cent and then double the growth rates recorded by the overall two-wheeler industry in the country.”

India Yamaha Motors has sold 228,378 motorcycles in the domestic market till January this year, which is an increase of 21.28 per cent as compared to the corresponding period of the last financial year.

The motorcycle segment in the period has grown by 23.57 per cent to 9.7 million units.

Yamaha, which has 13 models in its portfolio in India, is targeting having 10 per cent share of the two-wheeler market over the next three to four years. The company’s current market share stands at 3.5 per cent. To this end, the company has launched six products in the 150 cc segment and is looking at attaining 20 per cent share in the category in the course of the year. “We are going to introduce top-end products in India and then work our way down the pyramid to lower segments. Our products are known for their technology and now we are seeing demand for 150 cc bikes even from the B and C category towns,” said Kurian.

The company which has two facilities at Surajpur in Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad, Haryana has a combined installed capacity to roll out six lakh units annually.

The capacity can be scaled up to manufacture nine lakh units per annum depending on demand. Yamaha sells products in India through its network of 400 dealers across the country.

Last year, the company had said it would focus more on the Indian market, with more investments, and aimed to have 10 per cent of its total global sales from the country within the next four years.