And now a $500 or approximately Rs 27,000 motorcycle to cater to the swelling commuter segment in India. Japanese two-wheeler maker Yamaha on Tuesday announced development plans for an under $500 bike from India for the global market.
Currently, the other low-cost motorbikes available in India are Suzuki Hayate, Hero Honda CD Dawn and Bajaj Platina, which are priced in the Rs 40,000 to Rs 45,000 range.
Claiming that the bike will be “the world’s cheapest motorcycle”, the company said India will become the global hub for development of the low-cost bikes, which will be exported to countries in Africa and Latin America.
“Our objective is to develop the lowest cost model in the world and lowest cost parts. Our target is to develop the cheapest bike at around $500 for both India and export markets,” said Toshikazu Kobayashi, MD, Yamaha Motor Research and Development India.
The company’s new entity, Yamaha Motor Research and Development India Pvt Ltd (YMRI), which was established at Surajpur in Uttar Pradesh in February this year, has already started its work to develop the product that will be first launched in India.
In order to enhance its footprint in the Indian market, the company will launch a new scooter model each year until 2016, apart from setting up its second R&D centre by 2015 at its upcoming Chennai facility.