Yamaha to grow two-wheeler sales by a fifth in local market in 2021

Yamaha, chip shortage, vaccination, customer enquiries, two wheeler sales

Japanese auto maker Yamaha is looking at growing two-wheeler sales by a fifth in the local market in 2021 despite the challenges stemming from chip shortage and higher input costs.

Yamaha Motor India Group Chairman Motofumi Shitara told ET that with lockdown restrictions easing and the vaccination drive gaining pace, the company has witnessed steady growth in customer enquiries and walk-ins.

“We are being optimistic on demand being generated over the monsoon, followed by a speedy phase of vaccination,” Shitara said. “Also, the industry as a whole expects raw material costs to ease down in the 3rd and 4th quarters of this financial year, which should help revamp production and boost sales.”

Yamaha is targeting sales of 600,000 two-wheelers in the local market in the ongoing calendar year, as against 504,000 units sold in the year-ago period.

Shitara, who spoke on the sidelines of the launch of maxi sports scooter Aerox 155, priced at Rs 129,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi), said personal mobility will continue to remain a top priority for customers in the coming years.

Yamaha, in turn, will continue to focus on strengthening its position in the premium segment by building a strong product portfolio of 150cc & 250cc motorcycles, and 125cc & 150cc scooters to grow volumes in the country.

India remains a “highly valuable” market for the brand, reiterated Shitara. Yamaha already has a share of 20% in the premium two-wheeler segment. However, capturing a market this diverse where needs change with regional demographics, requires time and understanding.

Shitara added while the company has been successful in capturing a “decent” share of tier-I cities, tier-II/III cities are also of prime importance toward realizing the future goal of 10% market share within the Indian two-wheeler industry by the year 2025. Yamaha had a market share of 3.5% in India in 2020.

As regards introducing an electric vehicle in the local market, Yamaha said while state governments have announced policies to strengthen demand for electric vehicles by extending attractive subsidies and incentive schemes the past few months, there are bigger challenges related to investments in the space.

Shitara informed, “We are contemplating on factors like pricing, performance and infrastructure before we roll out any products for the Indian market.” He added the success of electric vehicles solely depends on the acceptance of customers at large, which is only possible with proper availability of infrastructure, charging stations, battery production and swapping infrastructure.

The company, though, is evaluating the Rs 25,938 crore production-linked incentive scheme announced by the central government last week to encourage local manufacturing of advanced automotive technologies including electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, to gauge how beneficial it will prove for the company in the long-term.

“Taking advantage of the PLI scheme is only possible when a manufacturer has products with green and advanced automotive or are committing additional investment and have higher incremental exports. Therefore, we are currently in the phase of reviewing this scheme to evaluate its pros and cons better and also to understand how beneficial it will prove to us in the long run”, he said.

Yamaha Motor has invested Rs 1,600 crore since 2015 in India. The company has a total installed capacity to produce 1.55 million two-wheelers.

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