Monday, July 13, 2009

Yamaha focuses on bike-touring culture to push sales

With television shows like MTV Roadies promoting the culture of touring on motorcycles, Yamaha India is planning to cash in on the trend and organise rallies to push sales.

"Touring as a culture is developing in India. Fazer, our latest model, is aimed at this niche concept," said Sanjay Tripathi, head of Yamaha India's product planning and brand management.

The company now plans to launch a series of touring-related activities in the coming months, but there will not be any new product offering this year.

Yamaha recently launched its 153 cc bike Fazer, priced at Rs.72,000 in Delhi (ex-showroom).

"The bike is aimed at a niche segment: people who do not care about how many cc the bike is but about style and quality. It is aimed at those who love to travel long distances on bikes," Tripathi told IANS.

The company, which forayed into India in 1985, has of late seen its market share getting whittled down.

"In the past 10 years, we lost the trust of our customers due to many reasons. Our main focus now is regaining that trust and increasing our market share (four percent currently) with new launches, good concepts and quality designs," Tripathi added.

The company plans to invest about Rs.800 crore in the country. "We have already invested about 70 percent of the capital," he said.

Yamaha also inaugurated its second plant at Surajpur in Uttar Pradesh with the launch of its latest bike July 6. The total capacity of the two plants has now gone up to 600,000 units per annum, which, according to Tripathi, can be augmented to one million.

Yamaha's also exports to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal apart from Colombia, Mexico and a few west African countries. "Last year, about 200,000 units were sold, out of which 50,000 units were exported," he said.

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