There have been several rumours stating that Yamaha intends to jump into ultra-affordable bike bandwagon by coming up with the world’s cheapest motorcycle. However, Hiroyuki Yanagi looks no less than amused when asked about any such plans by his company.
“The cheapest bike is not our goal and there seems to be some misunderstanding. We try to make good products for customers, which includes performance and values,” said the President & CEO of Yamaha Motor.
While he did agree that cost and price are “one such value”, the manufacturer would remain equally focussed on aspects such as that of styling, performance and safety. “It just cannot be cost,” he said.
With this, the idea of Yamaha’s “affordable bike” costing just INR 27,000 has suddenly started looking a bit too far-fetched. There are good chances that this bike would be exported to African markets, where Yamaha is still to establish a strong foothold.
Talking about this, he said, “People here are slowly shifting to personal use but they require low-cost bikes. One product from India could perhaps be used for the African market,”.
Hinting at export of the bike manufacturer’s top-end models such as the R15 and the FZ series, he said, “They are well accepted in various global markets.” More of these bikes could be exported to Europe and Japan.
Speaking about the time Yamaha took to revive its fortunes in India, he said, “I think we took slightly long to understand what was needed but we are making the right products no.”
Yamaha’s CEO believes that the top priority for Yamaha India is to ensure a robust product line-up. “We must have good offerings in the volume zone to build market share and we will follow this strategy each year,” he said.
Furthermore, India, along with Japan, China and ASEAN, will become a centre for components procurement. Talking about this, he said, “These are critical centres because of their huge industrial size and presence of good suppliers with whom we will try to work jointly.”