The old runners of Indian roads are about to vanish now. Very popular two wheelers in scooter category like Vespa, Lambretta etc are hard to find these days on Indian roads. The all new, trendy Sports bike has replaced them in recent years. Still, an Indian mentality believes on proverb – OLD IS GOLD. The result is, people try to give new look to old bikes and try to conserve them. YAMAHA’s old bikes like RX100 are still seen on the roads.
YAMAHA bikes are of 2 strokes. That simply means the mileage of Yamaha bikes is way lower as compared to today’s leading two wheeler manufactures in India. Again Indian mentality – “old is gold”; you will find these noise making and heavy fuel drinking Yamaha bikes. The important point to note here is Yamaha never introduced and advertised their bikes as “fuel saver bikes”. In India, Yamaha is more identified for better pick-ups, speedy two wheeler bikes.
Yamaha’s position in Indian Market
Yamaha, originally from Japan is spread across all over the world. Two wheeler manufacturing is a small part of Yamaha organization. However, today Yamaha have made presence in whole world. Yamaha is manufacturing two wheelers since 1955. Also Yamaha is well established in Ship engines, helicopters, robots manufacturing. Since start of the company, Yamaha introduced bikes for daily use, bikes for racing and today hundreds of models are present in market.
There was huge demand for Yamaha’s two stroke bikes in India. However, Yamaha’s bikes were popular in a particular class of people. Youth with above average financial condition and who were fond of speed used to think about Yamaha bikes. With the inventions of 4-Stroke engine, fuel saving bikes came to Indian market. The Indian mentality is more leaned towards savings when it comes to money matter. The introduction of 4-stroke based fuel saving bikes changed the focus of Indian people choice for two wheeler bikes. Yamaha quickly spotted this trend and introduced 4-stroke based bikes like Spark, G5, and FZ. However, the Yamaha still haven’t got the firm base in Indian Market. FZ caught attention, but other Yamaha bikes got very poor response.
Based on previous experience Yamaha has stepped in Indian two-wheeler gearless market by introducing Ray. Yamaha Ray was launched in India in September 2012. Yamaha Ray is manufactured and is targeted for Ladies in India. The advertisement of Yamaha Ray was also broad casted to target Indian Ladies. As part of promotion Yamaha launched two wheeler driving sessions for Women. Also Yamaha Ray was manufactured in the plant which was fully operated by Women employees. After this innovative promotion also, Yamaha Ray got poor response from Indian customers. I think Yamaha follows the principle – “try try but never cry”. Yamaha launched again new Gearless two wheeler –
Yamaha Ray Z
“Ray Z” has engine 113 cc and 8.1Nm torque. Indian two wheeler markets are already having excellent options of 125 CC categories of two wheelers. How Yamaha Ray Z will compete is a big question. Yamaha Company claims that Yamaha Ray Z can achieve 60km/hr. speed in 12 seconds. Company quoted mileage is 62 km/liters. Looking at the Indian roads and traffic in metro cities; Ray Z provides around 45km/liter of mileage. Good point to note about Ray Z is the weight. Yamaha succeeded to keep the weight less by 6-7 kg compared to other gearless two wheelers. Ray Z weighs only 104KG. One of the important drawbacks of Yamaha Ray Z is, Brakes. Yamaha Ray Z does not have disc brakes; rather it has 130mm drum brakes. Ray Z has enough space to keep the luggage below seat. Yamaha Ray Z is available in 6 colors in the market. Yamaha Ray and Ray Z both two wheelers are designed to ease the driving for ladies and gents. Ray Z is being manufactured at Chennai plant and expected to get fully operational by next year.
Indian two wheeler industry is evolving at exponential pace. Yamaha has plans to capture 16% of the two wheeler market share in India by 2016. Of course with the existence of strong competitors like Honda, Suzuki, TVS this will be not an easy journey for Yamaha. Today’s customer in India is very curious and give preference to two wheeler with features like disc brakes, high quality suspensions, high fuel capacity and best economical mileage. Based on these requirements and specifications of customers, two wheeler manufacturers will conquer the market.
Hope it helps.
Cheers…Happy RayZing!!! J