CHENNAI:Yamaha Motor India, known for its brisk, sporty motorcycles and brand identity in the higher end of the price spectrum, is foraying into a segment it has no discernible branding in - the executive 100 - 125 cc segment. With the launch of Saluto 125 cc on Friday, it is seeking to exactly that - get a foothold in the mass and rural markets.
Priced at Rs 52,000 ex-showroom Delhi, the Saluto is Yamaha’s latest move in its on going top down strategy, according to Masaki Asano, managing director of Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt Ltd.
Speaking on the sidelines of the national launch event here, Asano said that Saluto is the logical next step for Yamaha in India.
According to Yamaha, the mileage provided by the Blue Core technology used in its three earlier launches - Alpha, New FZ series and SZ-RR, would serve them well in the segment Saluto will be retailing in.
Says Roy Kurian, vice president-marketing and sales, Yamaha: “We do not expect Saluto to be a major volume driver. It is our first entry at this level after we started implementing our top down strategy.”
The hurdle Yamaha will have to face is the lack of branding in this segment, especially in the rural geographies.
The company has set a target of 8 lakh units sales in 2015, 10 lakh units in 2016 and 12 lakh units in 2017, with the sales ratio split evenly between scooters and motorcycles. 55% of the 5.49 lakh units sold in 2014 comes from motorcycles.
Saluto will be manufactured in the company’s Chennai plant, which should be formally inaugurated sometime in May. The plant will cater to both domestic and export markets. Currently, Yamaha exports to around 60 countries out of India and the target for the current year is around 250,000 units.