Having tasted the success in the volume segment with the launch of the
four stroke, 106cc Crux, Yamaha Motor Escorts (YMEL) now plans to intensify its presence
in this segment. Of the two new models that are expected to hit the market in the next six
months, one is likely to be positioned on the ''price'' plank, with an offering in the Rs
32,000 - 35,000 price band.
The stripping could be in the matter of
aesthetics, says Rahul Bhatnagar, (zonal manager, western region), not in the performance
or quality. "Yamaha bikes are known for their quality and performance. These will not
Another segment where YMEL is likely to make
an entry is the ''style'' category in the economy segment, since ''price'' and ''style'' are
niche areas that need to be addressed. Thus, two new models are expected in six months,
each addressing different segments of the volumes market.
These initiatives follow the unexpected
success Crux has brought, which was the first bike from the Yamaha stable after it
increased its stake from 50 to 74 per cent in Yamaha Motor Escorts Ltd., and its first
ever fuel efficient offering in the country. Yamaha, as is well known, is better known for
its ''power'' bikes.
"With the launch of the Crux, we tried
to do away with some misconceptions," said Mr. Bhatnagar, "the most important
being that Yamaha bikes too could offer fuel efficiency and better mileage, in addition to
power and performance."
Such an entry was deemed necessary by the
company, since 85 per cent of the Indian motorcycle market was dominated by the likes of
the Hero Hondas CD SS and Splendour, and the Kawasaki Bajaj Boxer and Caliber, each
of them marketed on the economy and mileage plank. Yamaha had no bike to offer in this
segment. Thus the launch of Crux.
The gameplan has paid off, with a sale of
almost 33,000 bikes within three months of its launch, enthusing the company to target a
2.5-lakh figure by the end of the year from Crux alone, of a total of 3.5-lakh of planned
The unanticipated success of Crux has been
attributed to two factors. One, that it matches up with other bikes in the fuel efficiency
and performance categories, as also price. On the Pune roads, it sells at Rs 39,990,
ex-showroom. The other is direct customer contact programme the company has adopted.
"Everybody is busy. So we do not wait for the customer to come to us. Instead, we go
to them," says Mr. Bhatnagar.
In this, it has initiated different
approaches to address the urban, semi-urban, and rural markets. For urban India, the
strategy is through carnivals, test ride camps, and friendly exchange plans, with an array
of brokers ready at hand to offer competitive prices to bikes offered for exchange. The
company also tied up with a choice of finance options to suit the differing needs of each
customer. The urban mantra, thus being, ''spot exchange, spot finance, and spot delivery''.
In the rural segment, the marketing is being
done through influencers, using the tool of ''word of mouth''. Village bigwigs such as the
sarpanch, cooperative society members, bank managers, etc., are first convinced of the
performance and efficiency of the bike, who would then influence others in the village to
buy these bikes. Private workshop owners are the other category through whom YMEL will
bring the bike closer to the customer.
Similarly, the company has also opened
booking counters and sales and service outlets at taluka levels, enhancing customer access
and making it easier for the rural customer to buy and service his purchase.