In­dia May Soon be Top Mar­ket for Yamaha: CEO

The Economic Times - - Business Of Brands - Sharmistha.M@ times­group.com

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.

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