IN A bid to grab bigger marketshare in India, Japanese bike major Yamaha has deviated from its mass market strategy and will now concentrate on niche motorcycle segments. It is also in the process of getting approvals for investment of Rs 1000 crore in the Indian subsidiary from the parent company. Yamaha, on Tuesday, launched two of its premium bikes— MT01 and YZF R1. Both the bikes have been priced at Rs 10.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The Japanese bike maker currently enjoys a dismal marketshare of 3% and is betting on its niche products for a transformation. Yamaha Motor India CEO & MD Tomotaka Ishikawa said, “We are looking at re-establishing the Yamaha brand in the country. We are therefore looking at fresh products targeted at the niche segment with better technology.” He added that the company would not concentrate on the commuter or 100 cc segment anymore. “We would look at niche segments and would be launching some fresh products at the Auto Expo in January 2008,” he said.
Talking about the company’s investment plans, he said, “We are in the process of getting approvals for the Rs 1,000 crore investment earmarked to us.” He reiterated Yamaha’s goal to grab 10% marketshare in the bike market by 2010.
The two super bikes that it has launched will be imported from European markets as fully built units. While MTR01 is strapped with a 1,680 cc engine , YZF R1 has a 998 cc engine. The bike maker will initially sell the bikes from five dealerships and expects to increase it to 50 dealerships by 2010.
“Initially we will sell these sport bikes from Ahmedabad, Chennai, New Delhi and Bangalore as we are looking at setting up an after-sales service infrastructure,” said Yamaha Motor India’s marketing-head, P Sam. He added that since only about 400-500 premium bikes are sold in a year, the company expects to sell only about a dozen units annually.
Yamaha India expects to see a massive dip in its fiscal sales tally. “We sold about 2.35 lakh units last year and we expect it to dip to 1.8 lakh units this year. This is also because of the negative growth the industry is witnessing,” he said