Japanese motorcycle major
Yamaha has more than three decades of India presence. It made its initial foray
into India in 1985 through the Nandas controlled Escorts group. But its real
journey began in August 2001 when Yamaha India became a 100pc subsidiary of
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, Japan (YMC). In 2008, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. entered
into an agreement with YMC to become a joint-investor in India Yamaha Motor
Private Limited (IYM). YMC has established its wholly-owned subsidiary - Yamaha
Motor India Sales Pvt. Ltd. (YMIS) in India to independently support IYM in
sales and marketing of its products.
India Yamaha is doing 7.36 lakh units in total sales in India with
around 5.65 lakh units in domestic sales and around 1.71 lakh units as exports.
You have been quoted as saying that your company has set a sales target of 8
lakh units for this year and 1.2 million units by 2017. To achieve these
targets, will there be a push on the domestic front or would the company rely
equally on the export markets?
year 2014 was a memorable year for us as we witnessed
robust growth with the
successful launch of our family-oriented scooter – ‘Alpha’ as well as the all
new Blue core enabled FZ series and SZ-RR Version 2.0, all of which were
instrumental in boosting sales to new levels. Driven by our innovative efforts,
ongoing customer-centric activities and exciting product line-ups, the Company
strengthened its position by clocking domestic sales of 5.7 lakh units in 2014,
compared to 4.6 lakh units in 2013, registering a 23% growth over the previous
immediate plan is to achieve an annual sales target of almost 9 lakh units
in 2015 with 7. 2 lakh units in domestic sales and 1.8 lakh units in export
sales. We’ve always been focused on the highly stylish 150 cc deluxe and
premium segment motorcycles and recently we extended our focus on the scooter segment
too. With the launch of Alpha scooter last year we drew our focus on the family
segment and now with the introduction of Saluto we will continue our focus on
family segment and strengthen our presence particularly in the rural parts of
are already in the process of expanding our sales & service network across
the country to get closer to our customer base. We currently have 1300 customer
touch-points and we plan to increase this number to approx 2000 by the end of
these initiatives, our push is indeed more focussed on the domestic market.
However, the exports market will not take a backseat but will play an important
role in achieving the said target by 2017.
Among your different products in the different segments, which are the
ones that are specifically setting the sales charts ablaze? Has Indian
customers moved out from the commuter segment of around 100cc or do you think
this segment still has a strong demand?
Our DNA has molecules of
design, innovation and technology. These molecules are twined together to offer
our customers an outcome that manifests our obsession and passion.
Our design and style is
clearly visible in our revolutionary products like the R15, the FZ Series and
our newly launched blue core enabled scooter line-up. Blue core technology is a
next generation engine development ideal that significantly enhances riding
enjoyment and fuel efficiency. We are confident of growing in these segments
with existing and new products and would see the setting of our sales charts
If we talk about the commuter
segment of around 100cc, it did witness a slight surge at almost 3% but the
125cc segment on the other hand witnessed a 12% increase in 2014.While the
demand for the 100cc will sustain, we see few customers slowly shifting their
aspirations to a higher cc segment due to the lack of performance with 100cc
class bikes. India, however is a very big market with its potential still
unexplored and 100 cc would keep contributing strongly in the next couple of
Bearing the few aspirational
customers in mind we recently launched Saluto - a 125cc family-use motorcycle
offering one of the best fuel economy. The new offering has been designed
keeping in mind the needs expressed by 125cc class customers and that included
a priority on fuel economy, along with affordable pricing, a want for a 125cc
bike because of the lack of performance with 100cc or 110cc class bikes, a
desire for a model with a discreet (composed) look befitting a family bike,
practicality and designs that are different from existing models, and a
priority also on an exterior with the look and feel of quality. In response to
these market needs, the new Saluto was developed around the concept of an
“Economical & Practical Indian Family Motorcycle”.
The scooter segment too is growing big time in India. Do you think
there is a scope for a new product in the male scooter segment? Also, in the
scooter segment, are the two sub segments of male and female getting to be
distinct and mature?
The scooter segment indeed
holds a lot of potential as it witnessed a 28% growth in 2014 compared to a 6%
growth witnessed by the motorcycle segment. Scooters have auto transmission and
many females love this convenience. Recently few male customers also have
started liking this feature and the comfort they get in heavy traffic
conditions. I don't look at this segment from gender point of view as it's
primarily a unisex product. I would like to broadly divide this segment as
family segment (generic product for all in the family) or personal mobility
Scooter as a segment has still
not seen much of action so far. It is still at a very conventional and
stereotype mode. Some differentiation though has been witnessed recently but
much more action is expected in this segment from manufacturers in coming times
as the expectations and aspirations of customers would grow beyond our
imagination. There would be a dynamic, growing scope of products for all men
and women in the future. Maturity is too distant a word for this segment.
What has been the demand for your high end motorcycles? Your company ,
according to SIAM data has sold zero vehicles for the year as compared to 15
the previous year? Why is the performance so dismal especially when there is a
demand for such niche products in India?
First things first, we were
the first ones to introduce superbikes in India. Our objective was to show case
Yamaha power and line up to Indian customers to kick start our top down
strategy. Now we are completely focussed on addressing the mass segment. This
would be possible only if we are focussed. We don't want to get distracted.
However we still have sold 35
vehicles last year. We recently introduced the R1 variant and R1M which is
poised to get our presence felt.
Will the company be considering a product in the 250cc to 300 cc
segment where the likes of Royal Enfield rule the roost? Do you see a scope
Market is growing and we are
serious about Indian operations. Any segment which is in line with our strategy
would be a segment for us to focus on with all our might.
I can't comment on CC, size and shape of the bike but you can expect surprises
from Yamaha all throughout.
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