Last month, Yamaha Motor Co. announced its plans to manufacture its cheapest motorcycle and sell it in India. The price of the bike will be about $500. Yamaha hopes this new entry level motorcycle will help to get a larger share of the growing Indian motorcycle market, the second largest two-wheeler market in the world.
Motorcycle sales in India grew 12% to 10.1 million units in the fiscal year through March—70% of the motorcycles sold were entry-level with 100-125cc engines. Currently Yamaha entry-level models available on the Indian market are the 110cc Crux and YBR (on the photo above)—Crux costs about $635. Yamaha’s $500 motorcycle will be its third budget vehicle in India. The company still has to catch up with Hero MotoCorp Ltd., currently India’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer by sales that offers six entry-level models. Other competitors like Honda and Suzuki are also expanding their presence in the region.
“We have so far done well with our premium motorcycles in India and now we think is the time to address a bigger part of the market where volumes are high,” Hiroyuki Suzuki, chief executive of India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd., said in a recent interview. (Notice the chief of Yamaha is Mr. Suzuki).
Instead of making a comment at the end, I’ll quote a reader of Asphalt and Rubber, “Strange that Yamaha can build a complete bike for 500$ [sic], yet a plastic exhaust cover on my MT-01 cost 340$ [sic]. I love the bike, but really their parts are crazy expensive…if they do this in India, chances are people won’t go for that 500$ bike the year after cause they’ll have figured out that replacing parts will add up to the price of the bike in no time!”