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Yamaha eyes high capacity premium motorcycle market in India

Yamaha eyes high capacity premium motorcycle market in India

Snapshot: Yamaha is studying motorcycles above 300 cc capacity and high-end scooters of 125-150 cc.

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India Yamaha Motor, a leading two-wheeler manufacturer and a subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Cooperation of Japan - one of the world’s four biggest motorcycle companies also known as the “BIG 4”.

Yamaha is now planning the premium segment in India by introducing higher capacity bikes, a shift from the mass market production, which was supposed to push volumes for the company.

The augmentation of its high-end motorbikes and scooters is a strategy to re-position the brand in India’s extremely aggressive two-wheeler market.

Motofumi Shitara, Chairman, Yamaha Motor India Group, said Yamaha India will shift to the premium motorcycle segments (150 cc and above) while scooters will be produced for the mass-market.

Mr Shitara expressed his desire that Yamaha, in the next 5-7 years, should be able to capture around 10% market share and volume of 2.5-3 million units by 2025 in India.

The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer is examining bikes of more than 300 cc capacity and high-end scooters of 125-150 cc, he added.

Yamaha India’s Fazer, FZ and R1 are all premium segment bikes of 150 cc capacity and above.

Yamaha’s strategy also includes an investment of Rs 100 crore in the next three years to enhance its R&D centre in India.

Shitara expressed his aim to re-generate the thrill in Yamaha’s product line, comparing the might of competitors — Bajaj in exports and premium play, Hero Motocorp in mass-market production, Honda’s strength in scooters and Royal Enfield’s prowess in cruiser bikes with solid EBIDTA margins.

“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,” Shitara said.

On whether the famous ‘RX 100’ will return, Shitara said that though the model is irrelevant now, he would like to capture its character in the future portfolio.

As per Shitara, with India’s young population and the middle-class growing, people will shift to high-end motorbikes. “We expect people to upgrade in the future and we will have a suitable portfolio to meet their needs,” Shitara said. “Majority of young customers like to have differentiated products and they are bored with the majority of the mass market models.”

Shitara said that Yamaha is aiming to strengthen the R&D in India and wants India to look at the development of bikes beyond localisation of parts.

“We lose a lot of time by depending on technical centres in Japan and South East Asia. More work locally will help us come out with frequent interventions,’ he said.

Shitara expects volumes to close at 850,000 units this financial year and aiming 1 million units by the end of next fiscal.

Source: ET Auto

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