After making its presence felt in the deluxe segment (above 150 cc) with over 20% market share, Yamaha Motor is pitching itself against Honda, Bajaj and Hero in the executive segment (125 cc) with ‘Saluto’, paving way for its entry into the mass segment, said Masaki Asano, the managing director, Yamaha Motor India.
‘Saluto’ will be rolled out from the Chennai manufacturing plant, which is expected to go on stream next month. The company will also export ‘Saluto’, he added. Announcing the national launch of ‘Saluto’ in Chennai on Friday, Asano said: “We are targeting more than 1 million units sale in 2015, including exports of around 2.5 lakh to 50-odd countries. We plan to sell a minimum of 60,000 Salutos’ in 2015 and subsequently 1 lakh units in 2016. By 2016, the company is targeting to sell more than 10 lakh units and by 2017 1.2 million units totally in India alone.”
Asano said: “The two-wheeler market in India reached 16 million units in 2014, thereby, becoming the world’s largest market. The motorcycle market constitutes about 68% at 11 million units. Of this, the 100-125cc motorcycle class is the largest category at 9 million units, comprising almost 83% of the market.”
Roy Kurian, vice-president (sales & marketing), Yamaha Motor India Sales, said: “Saluto will be the first product in the mass segment for Yamaha (100cc to 125cc) under our new strategy and this would help us reach rural markets across the country. The company, better known for its brand, quality and superior products, mainly in tier-I and tier-II cities will see ‘Saluto’ taking us into the rural markets in a big way. Rural markets contribute close to 70% to industry and 30% to Yamaha.” The company will add 150 dealers to its existing 400 strong network during this year, he added.
Kurian said: “We have commenced trial production of both bikes and scooters and Saluto will be rolled out from the Chennai plant, which will produce 4 lakh units in 2015 and based on demand will produce more units.”