It seems that Yamaha was bit late to wisely think to attract Indian customers. Hero Honda (now Hero Motocorp) was the very first motorcycle company to understand the necessity of Indian riders. Thus Hero introduced many commuter bikes in 100cc class at affordable price tag. The Hero machines also got packed with reliability, and fuel efficiency.
Bajaj Auto was the second motorcycle manufacturing firm to follow the path of Hero. Bajaj launched bike with the most affordable price ranges. However, Bajaj doesn't keep up the quality that Hero has. Followed by these companies, Honda joined the commuter motorcycles league. At first they parted from the erstwhile partner, Hero and concentrated on commuter segment. Learning from Hero, Honda introduced some commuter bikes those are mostly brought by Indian customers. It became a huge success.
Now following the path of all these motorcycle companies, Yamaha, the Japan muscle man is all set to roll out some needed changes in its strategy. Setting up a new Yamaha Motor Research and Development India (YMRI), at Surajpur, in Uttar Pradesh, Yamaha plans to develop low cost bikes especially for Indian customers. By the way, it is the fifth overseas R&D headquarters of the Japanese two-wheeler firm after Italy, Taiwan, China and Thailand.
Last year, we had reported that Yamaha would be making a much affordable bike which was expected to be priced around $500 (~ Rs. 27,175). It is supposed to come alive as the new R&D has been established. 'Cheap motorcycles' means motorcycles which are run by 100-110cc engine. Well, these machines are the most successful machines in the country.
Yamaha has been showcasing better sales every month. It's a great sign for the Japan-based firm which was struggling in the past months. Reaching 3.5 lakh units sales in the last financial year, Yamaha sold out 50,473 units in the month of March, 2013. Its lately launched scooter, the Ray is also doing good business between good looking women.
"We at Yamaha strongly believe in constant innovation. The R&D centre will help us to put channelised effort in conceptualisation of new models and parts keeping in mind the changing customer preferences. This will help us not only to develop models and parts for India market but also to develop models and parts for export markets as well," said Mr. Hiroyuki Suzuki, CEO and Managing Director at India Yamaha Motor.
To launch a $500 bike soon.
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