Launches rider training programme for women

Of the 5 lakh two-wheelers Yamaha targets to sell this year (2013), it expects two lakh units to be scooters.

While the overall two-wheeler industry is growing at 10-11 per cent, the scooter segment is growing at over 20 per cent, said Roy Kurian, National Business Head, India Yamaha Motor. There is a huge potential for scooters in urban and semi-urban areas.

This trend is driven by more women looking to be more mobile, said Kurian. Families are also increasingly looking at vehicles which the entire family can use, he said.

Yamaha is targeting 1 million (10 lakh) units by 2015 and 40-45 per cent will come from scooters. It sold 3.44 lakh motorcycles last year.

Hero and Honda are the big players in the scooter segment. Yamaha entered the space in September with the Ray range; since then, it has sold over 35,000 units.

“Though it is targeted at the urban woman, Ray is also being used by boys and husbands.”

New manufacturing plant near chennai

Yamaha’s upcoming manufacturing plant at Vallam Vadagal, near Chennai, will start production in 2014 with scooters. The plant will have a production capacity of 1.8 million units, taking Yamaha’s total capacity to 2.8 million units. Yamaha already has two plants in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

To encourage more women to take up scooter riding, Yamaha on Friday launched a rider training programme. The 3-hour training will be given to women free of cost at Yamaha dealerships by company staff. The company is also targeting colleges to offer training.

The programme covers aspects such as safety, balance, posture, start-stop, turning, cornering and braking.

This is also an attempt to get customers to experience the Yamaha brand. The company has similar rider training programmes worldwide, especially in Asean countries. About 70 per cent of people who undergo this training end up buying the Yamaha brand, said Kurian. Yamaha hopes to repeat this in India, too.

swetha.kannan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 4, 2013)
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