Yamaha to manufacture 250cc motorcycles in India although 2012 will be scooter focused
With the premium sports motorcycle segment outpacing the rest of the motorcycle market in terms of growth, Yamaha India might enter the fray with a sporty 250cc motorcycle very soon. While the details regarding which model Yamaha plans to launch in the Indian market remains unknown at the moment, the latest positive emerging from the Yamaha India camp is that the 250cc motorcycle that the Japanese motorcycle major will launch in India will be manufactured in the country, and not merely assembled.
Local manufacture will allow Yamaha to price the 250cc motorcycle very competitively. Currently, the only 250cc motorcycles in India are the Honda CBR250R and the Kawasaki Ninja 250R. While the Honda CBR250R is manufactured in India, the Ninja 250R is assembled through completely knocked down(CKD) kits. While assembly of motorcycles is much cheaper than importing directly through the completely built unit(CBU) route, CKD motorcycle owners still have to deal with exorbitantly priced spare parts.
Therefore, Yamaha’s decision to manufacture its 250cc motorcycle in India will give you, the motorcycle buyer, the twin advantage of a cheaper initial price and a cheaper long term ownership cost, the latter being a very crucial aspect of premium sports motorcycle ownership. Apart from this new development, Yamaha continues keep mum on when it will launch its 250cc motorcycle in the Indian market. Indian motorcycle buyers meanwhile, are tired of waiting for the 250cc product from Yamaha, a brand that is well known in India for high performance motorcycles.
From what we can gauge, it seems that Yamaha will not be launching a 250cc motorcycle in 2012 as the brand plans to focus on automatic scooters. Meanwhile, two new 250cc motorcycles will be launched in India by the middle of 2012 with Garware-Hyosung all set to launch the fully faired Hyosung GT250R and the naked GT250N motorcycles. Both these motorcycles will be brought in through the CKD route and are expected to be priced between INR 1.75 to 2.25 lakhs. Also, this is what Roy Kurian, National Business Head of India Yamaha Motor, has had to say about Yamaha India’s 250cc motorcycle plans,
The market for 250cc is growing and we are studying that. There are a couple of models in that segment and people are upgrading to 250cc bikes. We will do 100 per cent localization of that bike, we will manufacture it here. We have taken the feedback from people who have bought 200-250cc bikes and our feedback says they are not fully ‘satisfied’ with their products. So there is a need for a better bike than what is available today. Internationally, we have the Fazer 250, but I cannot comment when we will launch a bike in that segment. While we are focusing on scooters this year, it does not mean we are moving away from bikes. The bikes will remain as our main stay in the longer term.