Interview with Eishin Chihana, Chairman, Yamaha Motor India

We talk to Eishin Chihana, Chairman, Yamaha Motor India, about the brand's future product plans for India, their EV strategy, Blue Square dealerships and the scope for bringing in more higher-capacity motorcycles.

By autoX Editorial | on July 23, 2022 Follow us on Autox Google News

Given the current shift to EVs, what are Yamaha India’s future plans?

Our engineers in India are working on an electric scooter platform for the Indian market, in coordination with the team at YMC. The Neo’s EV in Europe is one of our strongest candidates in terms of design for this platform, but we need to rework on the motor and battery specifications to make it suitable for Indian riding conditions.

Before launching EVs in India, we shall be identifying and using Indian suppliers for the localisation of parts, even for things like mechatronic systems, to achieve an accessible price point for India.

When can we expect some higher capacity Yamahas in India?

We are analysing the market and trends related to this growth very closely and may look at entering the 300cc space with the MT-03 or the YZF-R3 in limited numbers, as an upgrade for our customers from the MT-15 V2.0 and the YZF-R15 V4. For now, our focus remains on strengthening our premium scooter and motorcycle segment in the 125cc to 155cc category.

The Aerox 155 received a good response from consumers, but its limited availability was a problem. Can we expect more premium Blue Square dealerships across India in the coming time?

The limited availability is not just because of the Blue Square showroom footprint but also due to the ongoing challenges related to semiconductor shortage due to supply chain disruption, which has been a major concern for the industry as well. Nevertheless, we are aggressively taking appropriate measures to ensure the delivery of products to our customers in the most efficient way possible.

By end of this year, we are planning to set up 100 Blue Square outlets across India. We are also being flexible towards our showroom space requirements, allowing more dealerships to be a part of our premium 3S network. So definitely, you will be seeing more Blue Square dealerships around you.

What’s Yamaha India’s marketing strategy going forward?

Yamaha’s target customers are youth and in order to engage with them, we will continue to develop interesting communication through our digital initiatives and at the same time organize on-ground activities like ‘Call of the Blue’ Weekend and ‘The Call of The Blue’ Track Day. In the COTB Weekend event, motorcycle enthusiasts can experience Yamaha’s premium model range through activities like the Gymkhana Ride, Product Test Ride, and Product Display, along with the purchase of Genuine Accessories & Apparels Display. In ‘The Call of The Blue’ Track Day, Yamaha customers get to experience the full potential of their Yamaha machines on a race track, while also helping them learn about the difference between riding on a race track and public roads.

We will also venture into new markets by accelerating the launch of Blue Square stores. The new set of premium retail stores will allow us to expand our visual identity based on the Yamaha Blue theme, ultimately uniting the entire Yamaha sales channel under ‘The Call of the Blue’ brand campaign. Overall, the company has redefined its position in India with this brand campaign and my mission is to reinforce this image and evolve it to the next level.

Which segment are you mainly focusing on right now?

Our goal is to create aspiration and fulfil our customers’ dream of owning a premium product, to do so, Yamaha will target urban and semi-urban areas where the need for aspirational products is on the rise. In line with our successful track record of focusing on the premium segment worldwide, we will continue to offer sporty and stylish motorcycles rather than focusing on two-wheelers used only as a mode of transport. This was the foundation of Yamaha and its DNA.

For now, we will continue to target young buyers looking for premium products in the 125-155cc premium space, with well-established products like the FZ range, YZF-R15, MT-15, Aerox 155 and the Hybrid 125cc Fascino and RayZR scooters. Yamaha will also continue to focus on strengthening its position in the premium scooter segment through offerings like the Aerox 155.

Read more:

Yamaha R15 M vs MT-15: Comparison

Working on electric scooter platform for the Indian market with localised parts: Yamaha

Yamaha Aerox 155 vs Aprilia SXR 160: Comparison

Tags: Yamaha Yamaha Motor India

Write your Comment

Please tell us your city. This allows us to provide relevant content for you.