Yamaha is seeking to leverage on the drastic shift in consumer behavior with preference for personal mobility over public transportation brought about by COVID-19. It plans to expand retail footprint in India despite the pandemic-induced disruptions.
Yamaha Motor India Group, which had suspended m in anufacturing operations at its factories at Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu and Surajpur in Uttar Pradesh from May 15 to May 31 when the second wave of the pandemic hit the country, has started production at the two locations from the beginning of the month to gradually get back to business.
Motofumi Shitara, the Group’s Chairman, told PTI that within the personal mobility space, two-wheelers prove to be the most viable option of commute due to low maintenance, easy maneuverability and the convenience of riding over multiple terrains. “On this front, the future of the Indian two-wheeler industry is strong and reassuring. In fact, the pandemic has brought about a drastic shift in consumer purchasing behavior and the need for personal transport has increased as people prefer personal mobility over shared and public transportation, to ensure social distancing and personal hygiene.”
The executive said that as the year progresses, the company will stand by its commitment to introducing the global excitement of racing and motorcycling culture in India with the help of various products and experiences. Shitara stressed that personal mobility will continue to remain a top priority in 2021 and the company will continue to focus on strengthening its position in the premium segment through a strong product portfolio of 150cc and 250cc motorcycles, and 125cc scooters. “Our immediate goal for 2021 is to stabilize sales with the current product portfolio.”
He said the company has witnessed a major shift in trend wherein customers are opting for more lifestyle-driven mobility as opposed to the conventional use seen earlier. “This approach towards two-wheelers has been mainly because of the new generation’s fascination with owning products that are technologically advanced, stylish and sporty,” Shitara said, adding that Yamaha’s newly launched FZ-X motorcycle and the Fascino 125 Fi Hybrid scooter would further strengthening its range of offerings.
Yamaha will also continue its retail footprint expansion in India through premium retail outlets despite the pandemic. The company is also being aggressive at launching our chain of premium “Blue Square” retail outlets across India, focusing on metro cities and the surrounding districts. At present, it has 25 outlets across India covering Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and the northeastern states. “By the end of 2021, we aim to have 100 “Blue Square” outlets pan India, with a target of setting up 300 touch points in the next two to three years,” Shitara said.