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Land of rising two-wheeler sales

By Ajay Modi
Last updated on: April 17, 2017 14:12 IST
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The biggest scooter and motorbike market in the world is -- of course -- India. Guess who are the gainers?

A man reads a newspaper as he sits on his scooter outside a shop in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad April 8, 2015. Photo: Amit Dave/Reuters

IMAGE: Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters.

India is emerging as a top market for leading Japanese two-wheeler companies.

Residents along with a dog evacuate a locality as they wade through a flooded street in Chennai, India, December 3, 2015. Photo: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

IMAGE: Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Photograph: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters.

Last year, this country became Honda’s biggest global market for two-wheelers.

Top 10 scooters in India, according to figures from Autocar

IMAGE: The largest selling scooters in India in January 2017, according to figures from Autocar.

Now, another Japanese major, Yamaha, is set to see India emerge as its second biggest market, for the first time.
A woman riding a scooter waits for a traffic signal along a street in Mumbai February 5, 2014. 'Plush pink' and 'burgundy bliss' scooters are the new buzz on India's roads, even as the rest of the autos market is sputtering amid an economic slowdown. Young, well-heeled and independent-minded women, who are also conscious of the perils of using public transport, are helping to propel a boom in sales of scooters. Photo: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

IMAGE: Mumbai, Maharashtra. Photograph: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters.

For Yamaha, India is about to overtake Vietnam and will be next only to Indonesia.

Yamaha believes it will sell a million two-wheelers in India during the 2017 calendar year, compared to the 0.92 million it expects to sell in Vietnam.
A couple ride a scooter on a hot day in Allahabad, India ApA couple ride a scooter on a hot day in Allahabad, India April 4, 2017. Photo: Jitendra Prakash/Reuterstendra Prakash/REUTERS

IMAGE: Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Photograph: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters.

India emerged as Yamaha’s third biggest market in 2014, overtaking China. The Japanese company globally sold 5.15 million of two-wheelers in the 2016 calendar year and aims to sell 5.82 million in 2017. And, almost 30 per cent of this growth is supposed to come from the Indian market.
Muslims ride on a scooter on their way to participate in a procession to mark Eid-e-Milad-ul-Nabi

IMAGE: Mumbai, Maharashtra. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters.

“With the current product portfolio and the aggressive marketing strategy to enhance our reach in the tier-I, II and III markets, as well as rural areas, we will reach our target of one million domestic sales in 2017. It will be a big achievement for Yamaha; we always believed in the potential of the Indian market,” says Hiroaki Fujita, chairman, Yamaha Motor India.
Dawoodi Bohra Muslims are reflected in the rear mirror of a parked scooter as they walk past the site of an under construction mosque in Mumbai, India, September 19, 2016. Photo: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

IMAGE: Mumbai, Maharashtra. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters.

India is the biggest two-wheeler market in the world and Yamaha has expanded its market share here from 2.7 per cent in calendar year 2012 to 4.7 per cent in 2016. It will also become the fifth company to sell a million two-wheelers in India (after Hero, Honda, Bajaj and TVS), and the second Japanese brand to achieve this feat, after Honda.
A boy holds an umbrella as he travels on a scooter with his mother during rains in Chandigarh, India, July 14, 2016. Photo: Ajay Verma/Reuters

IMAGE: Chandigarh, India. Photograph: Ajay Verma/Reuters.

Yamaha sold 786,000 two-wheelers in the Indian market last calendar year, up 32 per cent from 2015. It also shipped out 162,000 vehicles.
A woman shields her face from the sun as she rides her scooter in Ahmedabad, India May 20, 2016. Photo: Amit Dave/Reuters

IMAGE: Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters.

For Honda and Yamaha, the traditional large markets of this region are no longer driving growth. “Many of the top two-wheeler markets in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, have already matured. The India market has shown constant growth in recent years and there is huge scope for us to grow,” said Fujita.

Yamaha has invested Rs 1,280 crore in manufacturing and research & development facilities in India.

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Ajay Modi
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