Japanese two-wheeler major Yamaha plans to foray into the Indian scooter market by next year and will set up a separate body assembly line at its Surajpur plant in Uttar Pradesh for this purpose. The firm's wholly-owned subsidiary, India Yamaha Motor Pvt Ltd, is investing Rs 10 crore to set up the body assembly line at the plant.
"The scooter market in India is huge and we want to have a strong presence. Now we are preparing to launch a scooter here within 2012," India Yamaha Motor Pvt Ltd CEO and Managing Director Hiroyuki Suzuki told PTI.
Asked what kind of scooter it will be, he declined to specify details, but said: "It will be focused more on personal commuting, with stylish and smart design like Yamaha's motorcycles that are sold here."
Suzuki, who was heading Yamaha's Indonesian operations before taking over the charge in India last year, said he would aim to repeat Yamaha's success in the scooter market in Indonesia here. "In Indonesia, Yamaha has a market share of around 46 per cent, which is very close to that of Honda. I want to replicate that here in India as well," he said. He also said Yamaha's scooters would be positioned differently from those of Honda, which are more family oriented.
The Indian scooter market grew 50.54 per cent in 2010 and stood at 19.6 lakh units. It is dominated by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, although other players like TVS Motor Co and Hero Honda have also witnessed good sales.
On the preparations for the launch of the scooter, Suzuki said: "We will need a separate assembly line for it, specially for the body parts. We will invest about Rs 10 crore on setting it up." Last month, India Yamaha Motor Director (Sales and Marketing) Jun Nakata had said the scooter would be an India- specific scooter, which is being developed in Japan.
Suzuki said with the launch of scooter, the company is looking to increase sales volumes in India. In 2011, the company is eying total sales of 5 lakh units, out of which 3.5 lakh units will be in the domestic market and 1.5 lakh units will be exports. Last year it sold a total of 3.8 lakh units, out of which 2.5 lakh units found buyers in the domestic market and 1.3 lakh units were exported.
Yamaha had also said it might consider launching an electric bike in the fast growing Indian two-wheeler market to offer an alternative mode of transportation.