Yamaha to double exports from India; rides in Rs20 lakh bike

Yamaha to double exports from India; rides in Rs20 lakh bike

New Delhi: Japanese two-wheeler major Yamaha is looking to double bike export from India to 1.4 lakh units by 2010, while stepping up efforts to increase domestic sales, introducing more new models.

The company on Wednesday launched its iconic bike VMAX, which has been priced at Rs20 lakh, to enhance its position in the high-end bike segment.

“We are confident of exporting 70,000 units of bikes this year and then doubling it to 1.4 lakh units by 2010," India Yamaha Motor chief executive officer and MD Yukimine Tsuji told reporters here.

In 2008, the company had exported 40,000 units from India, which serves as the only hub for Yamaha globally for its 150 cc bikes. It currently has a series of bikes in this range including Fazer, FZ-6, FZ16 and YZF-R15.

He said the company’s exports from India has gone down in 2008 and the first half of this year due to recession. In 2007, exports stood at 50,000 units

“Now we are confident of a bounce back, specially in the 150 cc and above engine capacity," Tsuji said.

On the domestic front, he said the company’s plan is to launch a maximum of new two models a year as it aims for a 10 per cent market share in India by 2012. Motorcycle sales in the country in 2008-09 was at 58,35,145 units. Yamaha had a 3.5 per cent share in the Indian bike market in 2008.

Tsuji said India Yamaha Motor is also looking for domestic sales of 2.2-2.5 lakh units this year and hopes to take it to 3 lakh units by 2010.

The company had announced an investment of Rs800 crore two years back for setting up a new plant at Faridabad, which will have a capacity of 9 lakh units.

Tsuji said 60% of the amount had been invested. “In the next three years Rs200 crore will be invested, mostly for developing new models," he said.

The high-end bikes segment in India is witnessing competition with other manufacturers like Suzuki and Honda selling bikes costing Rs10 lakh above. Even Harley Davidson had recently announced plans to enter the Indian market.

Yamaha current sells its 1,670 cc bike MT01 and 998 cc bike YZF-R1, priced above Rs12 lakh.

The company plans to sell about 25 units of the 1,679cc new VMAX in the next 12 months and have already received eight bookings.

India Yamaha Motor also launched a limited edition of its FZ bikes in three variants priced between Rs66,500 to Rs73,500 .

“Our aim to have 10% of the Indian bike market by 2012, besides having 30% of the market in the deluxe and premium segments... We want to focus on the premium segment as our as base of our India growth strategy," he said.