India May Soon be Top Market for Yamaha: CEO
New Delhi: India is likely to emerge as the largest market for Yamaha Motor by the turn of the decade, as the economies of the other countries where it currently sells more two-wheelers are under pressure, the Japanese company’s chief executive said.
With sales of more than 8 lakh twowheelers last year (domestic sales and exports from India), the country is already the third largest market for the company, behind Indonesia and Vietnam. “We are selling roughly 6 million units in the world. We are targeting to make 1 million this year in India including domestic and exports,” chief executive Hiroyuki Yanagi told ET. “This year, Vietnam and India will be very close.” Yamaha sold more than 2 million units in Indonesia last year. Vietnam was a distant second with local sales of around 8 lakh. “The Indonesian market is still slow because of many reasons. India could be the largest market by 2020, (or even) before 2020,” he said. Low commodity prices, which hurt the economy and the purchasing power of people, have hit demand for motorcycles in Indonesia, especially in the commodity-rich regions of Sumatra and Kalimantan.
In India, Yamaha wants to sell1million units in 2016 and more than double local production by 2020. The aim is to corner a 10% share of the country’s estimated 20-million-unit two-wheeler market by that time. Yamaha, which has previously been largely focused on scaling up sales in urban areas, will add products at the entry-level to build volumes outside cities. On Thursday, it launched the Saluto RX, a 125cc commuter bike.
“We were focused on cities and metro- politan areas, but this (Saluto RX) could be a good trigger to attack into the rural areas,” he said. “Now we are ready.”
The company currently has three manufacturing facilities in India — at Surajpur, Faridabad and Chennai — with total installed capacity of 2.5 million units a year. Studies are on to gauge the requirement and a suitable location for a fourth unit, though it doesn’t immediately need one.