Yamaha announced plans to create its cheapest motorcycle ever, which will retail for roughly $500. The upcoming model will be sold in India, a country where Yamaha plans to develop a greater grasp on the motorcycle market.
Yamaha's 0 Indian Motorcycle
“We have so far done well with our premium motorcycles in India and now we think is the time to address a bigger part of the market where volumes are high,” Hiroyuki Suzuki, chief executive of India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd., said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Yamaha hopes that its new low-priced bike will boost its sales in India to 2 million vehicles annually by 2016. The sales goal does not seem unrealistic, as the company sold 520,000 motorcycles in 2011 and expects to sell 640,000 this year.
Yamaha Crux & YBR
The forthcoming $500 bike will be Yamaha’s third model available in India. Yamaha currently sells the Crux, which goes for $635, and the slightly more expensive YBR, which sells for $760. While the YBR was originally introduced in Japan, the Crux was specifically designed for Indian markets.
The Motorcycle Market In India
If all goes as planned, Yamaha’s new model will expand the manufacturer’s current market share from 3.5 percent, to its target of 10 percent in four years time. India is currently the world’s second-largest two-wheeler market behind China.
Motorcycle sales in India have grown 12 percent to 10.1 million unites in the current fiscal year, primarily consisting of entry-level bike sales. In fact, entry-level sales presently make up about 70 percent of India’s total motorcycle sales.
Yamaha and Suzuki In India
Although Yamaha’s new model will be its third budget-minded vehicle in India, the company will have to play catch up with Hero MotoCorp Ltd, India’s largest seller of two-wheelers. Hero currently has six entry-level motorcycles available in India. In addition to Hero, Yamaha also has to compete with Suzuki Motor Corp and Honda, both of which are trying to expand their standing in the region.
Despite Yamaha’s seemingly affordable price range for its Crux and YBR models, each of its competitors offers vehicles in the same price range. For this reason, Yamaha believes that a new $500 motorcycle will set it apart from its rivals.
“Just about one in every 25 people in India owns a two-wheeler,” Suzuki said. “There is a huge scope to attract more buyers with a fuel-efficient product that is priced reasonably.”
Although Suzuki has yet to announce a timeline for the bike’s release date, he did say that India Yamaha would research and develop the project without the help of its parent company.
Motorcycle Growth In India
Over the next five years India Yamaha will develop motorcycle products and build a new factory to meet demand, according to Suzuki. The chief executive also divulged that its future bike would be exported. Yamaha also plans on selling three new scooters in India over the next two years.