Yamaha VMAX – Blazing A New Trail

In general any company launches a new product with the hope that it becomes a hit with the customers and its sales increase. But was this the only reason for the launch of The Yamaha VMAX ? Nitesh Kumar Gupta probes deeper

mPower the marketing interest group of IIM KozhikodeYamaha Motors, a Japanese company entered in India in 1980s and through the acquisition of Escorts Motors Private Limited in 1999 cemented its place in the market. It forayed into the market with Yamaha RX100 and RX135 in the mid-nineties. Everything was going well until a government regulation that banned 2-stroke bikes came into effect and Yamaha had to pull out its bikes from the market. Later it came up with many new models but they were not highly successful despite the fact that the engines of theses bikes were among the best in the business. Choice of marketing, inefficient operations strategy, lack of imported raw materials from Japan etc may be reasons why these models were not that successful. This was the case with Yamaha Enticer whose parts were from Japan. This model got many orders in India but due to less production in comparison to demand and inadequate raw materials it lost out to Bajaj Auto Limited’s Avenger. Yamaha’s niche in Japan is in racing bikes(high-premium segment) due to its high engine capacity. It realized that Indian market is viable for sports bikes and has shifted its focus from the lower end segments to the high-premium segment(from utility to luxury). Its aim is to provide its customers the full range of its engineering marvels that make Yamaha the company that it is. With the disposable income rising in India and the number of millionaires increasing day by day it is sure to find prospective customers. It saw an opportunity and grabbed it.

Now, the task ahead for  the company was to change its brand’s position from lower-end bike maker to a high-end youth oriented one. The company launched its legendary flagship muscle bike VMAX with the help of brand ambassador John Abraham for a whopping 20 lacs(ex-showroom New Delhi).Its powerful but sleek design and a 4-stroke engine(maximum power-147.2 kW-200PS @9000 rpm, displacement-1679 cc) awed customers who thronged showrooms to catch a glimpse.

Yukimine Tsuji, CEO, Yamaha Motor Pvt Ltd said, “We are constantly shifting gears to transform the market from utility to pleasure and lifestyle. With the launch of the all new VMAX, Yamaha brings a new credo for the bikers in India. Today, Yamaha is offering innovative designs, sporty looks and premium features across models as part of its strategy to give consumers a new thrill in biking. The limited edition of high demand model Fazer & FZ series is in line with this strategy.”

The bike maker’s motive here does not seem to be sale of many units and wanted those who buy it to feel exclusive (its target was to sell 25 VMAX bikes. It received 8 bookings till 2009).This is one step in attaining its goal of 10% market share by 2012 in India. Yamaha VMAX was thus introduced in the Indian Market (there are not many competitors in this segment as of now) to entice the customers and route the demand to the other racing bikes like R15, the YZ series, MT01 etc. The price tag of Rs. 21 lakhs is being encashed by gaining customer attention and displaying its cutting edge engine and chassis technology.

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