Yamaha Motor India has a new strategy in place for the Indian market that will see the two-wheeler maker exit the entry-level commuter segment by April 2020. Ravinder Singh, Senior VP - Strategy & Planning, Yamaha Motor India, confirmed the development to carandbike on the sidelines of the Fascino 125 FI launch in Chennai and iterated that the firm now plans to concentrate on the premium commuter segment and above. This move will see the company discontinue the Yamaha Fascino, Alpha, and Ray-ZR 110 cc scooters as well as the Saluto 125 and Saluto RX 110 commuter motorcycles. The brand is liquidating stocks of all these models as it approaches the March 31, 2020, deadline to meet the BS6 emission norms.
The newly launched Yamaha Fascino 125 FI then, becomes the new entry-point into the Japanese brand with the motorcycle range starting from the 150 cc segment. The 125 cc scooter space also promises a lot of growth and will be a major contributor to the two-wheeler segment in the years to come. The segment is expected to grow by 22 per cent by 2025, even as the industry is likely to retain a flat growth rate in 2020 as well, according to Yamaha.
The move was always in development as Yamaha commissioned its 'Call of the Blue' campaign in India in 2018 to put the focus back on the brand's sporty range of offerings. It also comes from disappointing sales for the manufacturer in the commuter space that has done well for other traditional players namely Hero MotoCorp, Honda and TVS Motor Company. The brand did taste some success in the scooter space with the Fascino 110, but that continues to be the only success story amidst a range of offerings from the company.
The overall slowdown has made things difficult for the industry and most manufacturers have seen volumes take a hit this year. For the 2019 calendar year, Singh confirmed that Yamaha has sold 6.24 lakh vehicles and expects to achieve a sales figure of 6.50 lakh units in 2020. The company aims to have a market share of 9.6 per cent in the premium commuter space in 2020, up from the current 8.5 per cent. It plans to grow to 10 per cent in the scooter segment by 2025, from its current market share of five per cent.
For 2020, Yamaha Motor India will be concentrating on bringing its new scooters and BS6 compliant motorcycles to the market, while all-new offerings are also on the horizon. The new Fascino and Ray-ZR 125 will arrive by January 2020, while the BS6 MT-15 will be introduced by February next year. That said, the Yamaha YZF-R3 may not receive the BS6 upgrade immediately. The company has spent over ₹ 1000 crore on new product development and technology upgrades in the past four years, while ₹ 14 crore was spent on meeting the BS6 emission norms.
Yamaha also inaugurated the new Blue Square dealership, revamping the showroom for a premium look and plans to add 100 more outlets in 2020. The new Blue Square outlets will replace the existing dealerships at several locations and will retail the entire range along with accessories, merchandise and motorcycle gear. The company plans to add about 300 Blue Square outlets in the future. Yamaha presently has 593 dealerships across the country with 2000 touchpoints.