According to a report in India’s Economic Times, Yamaha Motor Company’s CEO says India will soon be his company’s biggest motorcycle market.
The publication’s interview with CEO Hiroyuki Yanagi is a revealing look at the future of the powersports market, and it answers a lot of the questions we see in CMG’s comment section.
After all, it’s starting to become a regular refrain. Every time a manufacturer brings out a new model in the 250-300 cc range, the comment gallery lights up: “Why don’t they bring this in as a 500? A 650? A 750? If this came in a 900 cc version, I’d buy it!”
But while we hear questions like that constantly, we rarely see the bikes the public supposedly wants. Why? Maybe it’s because the manufacturers, especially Japan’s Big Four, are now setting their sights on other markets.
In the interview, Yanagi told the Times “The Indian market will be the top business for Yamaha very soon. That is my expectation because it is performing well… (It should happen) within the next three years.”
Of course, those bikes will be low-margin, high-volume machines that mostly wouldn’t be considered very interesting in our market. The “beginner” bikes we get here, like the R3, would be considered high-end machines in that market.
But, it’s still hard to argue with the sales results of a country like India, even if the market doesn’t demand exciting, high-tech bikes. If that’s where Yamaha and the rest of the OEMs are headed, it’s hard to blame them. Just be ready to expect an impact on the models developed for our market, as a result of the changing focus.