New Delhi: Japanese auto major Yamaha Motor Company (YMC) expects India to overtake Indonesia to emerge as its largest base in terms of production output in the next five years.
Yamaha Motor India’s group chairman Motofumi Shitara told ET that the key markets of Indonesia and Vietnam are nearing saturation point and the company expects India to emerge as its largest market by 2024.
“India is priority number one for us worldwide. Because (in) Indonesia, Vietnam, little bit market is saturating. India is different. It has a huge population, the number of young customers are increasing … We aim to have production volume of 2.5 million units in India in the next five years,” said Shitara. The company currently manufactures 1.7 million units for local sales as well as exports in Indonesia.
Shitara admits that the Indian two-wheeler market has been facing headwinds due to the increase in insurance costs. Uncertainty ahead of the general elections too has dampened consumer sentiment. But he believes the slowdown in demand is temporary.
“India sells more than 20 million two-wheelers annually and (the numbers are) growing. Our company’s market share is in single digits. We want to improve this. There is a lot of opportunity,” added Shitara.
Two-wheeler sales in India increased 6.95% to 19,740,727 units till February this fiscal. In the same period, India Yamaha Motor’s sales remained largely flat at around 732,006 units. The company additionally exported 226,010 units.
Shitara was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of MT-15 priced at ₹1.36 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Going ahead, Shitara said the company would steer clear of the mass segment and focus on launching premium motorcycles in the domestic market. The company has also commenced a study on introducing electric two-wheelers in India. However, there is no timeline defined for a launch yet.
“Three points are important, one is performance. Second, is price control. And third, infrastructure for battery charging. These three issues we should answer (for electric vehicles to take off)”, Shitara said.
Shitara is currently defining the mid-term roadmap for the company till 2025 to lay the foundation on how the brand Yamaha takes shape the country. Apart from growing volumes, Shitara said a focus area for him is to project a strong image for the Yamaha brand in the local market.