India will be Yamaha’s 2nd largest market by Dec

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

The Yamaha R15   -  S Muralidhar

India is poised to become Yamaha’s second largest two-wheeler market by December this year with Indonesia right on top. At present, India is barely 16,000 units behind Vietnam, a market in rapid decline.

Yamaha declared its third quarter results in Japan last week where Indonesia maintained its premier position with 1.89 million units sold in the January-September period. Vietnam was a distant second with 4.39 lakh units with India rapidly closing in at 4.23 lakh bikes and scooters. Thailand was way behind in fourth slot at 1.58 lakh units.

The rapid emergence of India on the Yamaha roadmap can be gauged from the fact that it accounted for sales of 2.47 lakh two-wheelers in Jan-Sept 2012, climbing to 3.3 lakh units the following year and to 4.23 lakh units during the course of this calendar.

In contrast, a traditionally robust market like Vietnam has seen (Jan-Sept) sales fall from 6.3 lakh units two years ago to 5.64 lakh units in 2013 and now to 4.39 lakh units. India could well equal the score this month before overtaking Vietnam in December and emerging Indonesia's key challenger.

Yamaha’s fall in Thailand has been more profound from a high of 4.3 lakh units in Jan-Sept of 2012 to 2.84 lakh units the following year. With barely 1.6 lakh units sold so far during this calendar, it remains to be seen if numbers will fall further to under one lakh units in 2015.

Indonesia, however, continues to be Yamaha’s largest market with sales over the last three years comfortably averaging 2.6 million units annually. As its closest rival, India will still be some way behind but the commissioning of the second plant in Chennai could soon bridge this gap.

The facility is scheduled to be inaugurated in a couple of months and its capacity will be increased in phases to 1.8 million units by 2018. Along with the Surajpur unit, this will take Yamaha’s overall numbers here to 2.8 million bikes and scooters.

Going by present growth trends, India just offers more potential than Indonesia thanks to a growing base of young buyers. Sales during the last three years clearly show that the ASEAN region, once a happy hunting ground for Yamaha, is on the descent while India is already the world’s largest two-wheeler market.

There is, therefore, a strong possibility of sales in Indonesia continuing to stay flat, and perhaps even falling, over the next three years. In contrast, growth in India is projected to be 12-15 per cent per year which could translate into 30 million two-wheelers (across manufacturers) annually by 2020.

From Yamaha’s point of view, India will also have to double up as a custodian for Africa, its next big region for growth in the coming years. It is keeping this in mind that the company is hoping to make the world’s most affordable motorcycle (costing Rs 30,000) a reality by 2016-17. India will be the production hub for this bike which will be exported to Africa.

Published on November 09, 2014

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