Yamaha set to accelerate
FROM ISSUE #252 (17 JUNE 2005 - 23 JUNE 2005) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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In 1996, Yamaha had half the share in the Nepali motorcycle market. By 2004, competition had caused it to plummet to one third. The Japanese motorcycle giant now wants to spurt ahead with an accelerated sales drive. We want to reclaim our 50 percent market share in Nepal, Hiroyuki Yanagi, CEO and managing director of Yamaha Motor India told us. Yanagi was in Kathmandu for a two-day visit to launch Yamaha Club in Tripureswor. As the name suggests it is where Yamaha aficionados can lounge around, exchange biking tips while watching their bikes being serviced. Members also get special privilege cards and to participate in earning point schemes. The launch of Yamaha club coincides with the 50th anniversary of the parent company in Japan. The motorcycle market in Nepal has been holding steady, says Vishnu Kumar Agarwal of Morang Auto Works, authorised distributors of Yamaha in Nepal. Customers are middle class Nepalis who look mainly for better quality, says Agarwal. Nine years ago, RX 100 had Yamaha at the top of the Nepali market and new models are still striving to take over. When launching a bike, the media mileage it receives often determines its sales volume. Every bike is given a separate image but the brand revolves around a central design idea. The global image of Yamaha is sporty, stylish and innovative, explains Yanagi, and we build bikes based on those concepts. Macho-style bikes sell well in the South Asian market but he says Yamaha tries to stick to safety and environment-friendly features as well.