Yamaha to shift focus to scooters in Nepal

In conversation with THT Auto Plus, Masaki Asano, CEO and Managing Director of Yamaha, India details the brand’s future plans during a recent visit to the Capital

Yamaha is one of the leading motorcycle brands in the auto industry, having demonstrated its passion for innovation since 1955. Morang Auto Works (MAW), the authorised distributor of Yamaha in Nepal began its partnership with Yamaha in 1975, importing Rajdoot and Escorts models for a single showroom.

Today, Yamaha enjoys one of the highest market shares in the motorcycle sector and their sales network spreads all across Nepal. They have over 80 outlets and more than one hundred Authorised Service Points (ASPs).

Masaki Asano, CEO and  Managing Director of Yamaha, India, who was on his first visit to Nepal  said that he was very impressed with the Nepali auto market. “Nepal has a very good market as it comes under one of the highest selling country in the overall auto industry of Yamaha. We are very much looking forward to expanding our business and focussing on the premium segment of our motorcycles and scooters here,” said Asano.

“We are planning to shift our focus to the premium-bike segment and scooters in India. So, we are planning to introduce numerous new motorcycles and scooters in India this coming year and undoubtedly they will also be launched in Nepal.  Our aim is basically to focus on an increasing number of our customers preferring scooters to mass-market motorcycles and seeking to buy performance bikes,” Asano added.

Impressed by Nepal’s scooter market, Asano gave assurance that the company would likely increase the number of Yamaha scooters available in the country. They also plan to

focus more on the development of  their premium bike segment in Nepal.

With most of the automotive industry turning towards electric vehicles, Yamaha plans to introduce electric motorcycles within a period of 10-20 years. “We have been working on our electric and hybrid segment and it will be available in the next 10 years,” said Asano. Touching upon the high price of motorcycles in Nepal, Asano explained that since the motorcycles are first imported to India and then to Nepal, after 2020 they hope to create a manufacturing hub in India and eventually in Nepal. “We are also thinking of exporting [the bikes] to South America, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” Asano said.

Bishnu Kumar Agrawal, MD, Morang Auto Works said that Yamaha currently has a 15 per cent market share and its aim to take the figure to 20 per cent within the next

two years.

When asked about their market strategies for Nepal, he said, “The main focus of our company is on improving customer experience whether they go to purchase the motorcycles or have already purchased it. We would also like to improve our market penetration and provide better after-sales service.” He added that Yamaha is now going to concentrate on the scooter segment because of its rising demand in the Nepali market, as well as on incorporating new technology.

Yamaha recently launched the FZ25 ‘Street Fighter’ in Nepal. According to MAW, they have sold between 1,800 to 2,000 units of the new bike so far.

“For our future endeavours, we would like to focus more on the premium and premium plus segments above 150cc, and we are sure that within two to three years we will able to increase our market share to more than 20 per cent,” Agrawal concluded.