A news report from Reuters says Yamaha is planning to build and sell cars in Europe.
According to the story, an unnamed source says Yamaha is planning to build two-seater cars in Europe by 2019, maybe sooner. The Yamaha cars will have electric motors, or gas-powered 1000 cc engines, and will be aimed at environmentally-conscious buyers. The plan is to sell in Europe first, then possibly Asia and other emerging markets.
The news shouldn’t be a total shocker, as Yamaha displayed a concept car at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. At that time, the story was that the car would hit market by 2020, according to the report, which would make this latest news fit right into that schedule.
CMG Slant (Zac Kurylyk)
This move makes sense for many reasons, not the least because Yamaha’s direct competitors (Honda, Suzuki) have been doing it for years. Yamaha engineers are already developing all sorts of small-engine technology – why not apply it to a basic commuter car, as Suzuki has done for decades? Yamaha’s wise to launch in Europe, as the North American market views subcompacts as novelties, and even Suzuki recently folded their cager division over here.
The only real disappointment in this news is that Yamaha’s planning to build a sober, sensible car, when their current motorcycle lineup is anything but. You could argue Yamaha has the most exciting bike lineup on the market today, and it would be quite interesting for car fans if they applied the same thinking to four wheels. Our only worry is, what if the cars make so much money they displace the motorcycle division in importance?