Yamaha targets double-digit growth riding scooter success

Tags: News

Firm looks to grab 10% share of two-wheeler market by 2016

After Honda and Suzuki, it’s the turn of Yamaha to trigger more competition in the fast-growing scooter market. The Japanese two-wheeler is aiming for a strong double digit growth in total domestic two-wheeler sales in 2013, driven by scooter, which are expected to account for about 40 per cent of the total number.

Yamaha intends to give stronger focus on its scooter business during the calendar year and hopes to consolidate its volumes under its first scooter brand in the Indian market — Ray. With its proposed plans to increase monthly volumes from 10,000 plus to over 16,650 units during 2013, the company is embarking slew of initiatives to lure young women buyers for its scooter.

“We have been getting very good responses to our scooter since the launch in September. While Ray is targeting at young women who are below 24 years, we expect more family customers to buy our product as it is slightly bigger than some of the scooters in the market,” Roy Kurian, national business head, India Yamaha Motors told Financial Chronicle.

“We have sold about 35,000 units of Ray since the launch and expect scooter volumes to contribute about two lakh units to the total domestic sales target of five lakh units in 2013,” he added.

Yamaha sold 348,406 two-wheelers in the country in 2012 compared with 343,466 units in 2011, posting a marginal growth of 1.4 per cent. But this year, the company is targeting to sell about five lakh units, which means the company will be recording about 43 per cent growth compared with 2012 volumes. This higher growth is expected to be driven by strong scooter sales of about 200,000 units.

With 20 per cent plus growth in scooter market, Yamaha sees strong growth opportunities in the coming days. Average monthly scooter sales in the country during 2012 were about 2.4 lakh units compared with average monthly volumes of about 1.97 units in 2011. Scooter segment promises strong growth for two-wheeler makers supported by new launches, increasing urbanisation and growing acceptance of gearless scooters, particularly among women. This segment is expected to account for 40-45 per cent of the total two-wheeler sales in 2015 from the current levels of about 21 per cent.

To woo more women buyers, Yamaha has just come out with a female riding training programme under which, it intends to train young women on riding a scooter and to facilitate obtaining a licence. This programme is expected to be conducted in colleges and schools across the country.

Yamaha has learnt through a survey it conducted that training has big influence on purchase decisions as any girl who learns to ride on a certain brand of bike would mostly end up buying the same brand. Thus, by offering free training to young aspiring women buyer, it plans to attract them to its brand.

The company also sees more and more women opting for personal transportation due to recent concerns over women’s safety in public transport system. So scooter market is promising strong potential for two-wheeler makers.

At present, Yamaha has over 400 dealers across India and plans to reach more location and plans to ramp up the network to about 2,000 by 2014. It is also working on its secondary network to be realigned to reach more customers in rural areas. With the addition of the recently launched scooter Ray in its portfolio, India Yamaha Motor is looking at an overall market share of 10 per cent by 2016.

balachandarg@mydigitalfc.com

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