Japanese two-wheeler major Yamaha is closely looking at development of enabling factors like charging infrastructure and battery production before entering the electric vehicle segment in the country, according to a top company official.
The company noted that the success of electric vehicles (EVs) solely depends on the acceptance of customers at large, which is only possible with proper availability of infrastructure, charging stations, battery production and swapping infrastructure for electric vehicles.
"While we welcome and appreciate the new EV policies being introduced by state governments to strengthen the demand for EVs, via attractive subsidy and incentive schemes, there are bigger challenges related to investments. We are contemplating on factors like pricing, performance and infrastructure before we roll out any products for the Indian market," Yamaha Motor India Chairman Motofumi Shitara told PTI.
He noted that the Fascino 125 Fi Hybrid and the RayZR 125 Fi Hybrid are the company's first step towards entering the EV space in the Indian market.
"The hybrid technology with electric power assist in our 125cc scooter range is just one of many technological advancements achieved in the field of electric mobility by Yamaha, which we have introduced in the Indian market. With time, we intend to introduce similar technological advancements, eventually entering the EV space," Shitara noted.
On the company's growth plans in the premium segment, he stated that Yamaha is committed to having a strong presence in the premium 125cc scooter, 150cc and 250cc motorcycle space, with a strategically planned product portfolio that consists of two-wheelers for all riding possibilities—new riders, experienced riders and riders seeking the finest technologies or advanced controls.
Currently, Yamaha enjoys around 20 per cent market share in the premium (149cc-155cc) motorcycle segment.
"We strongly believe that there is a huge opportunity for us in this segment as the customers are stepping up from the lower-displacement bikes to higher models for more excitement. The perception of customers is continuously changing; over the years, we have noticed that customers are now demanding for high-performance two-wheelers, representing their spirit of riding," Shitara said.
Going forward, the company will stand by its commitment to introduce global excitement of racing and motorcycling culture in India with an aim to strengthen its position in the premium segment, focussing more on reaching out to a wider audience in metro cities and surrounding districts, where the demand for personal mobility will surge more than ever, he added.
He added that the 150cc segment holds enormous value for both step-up customers and new riders and Yamaha has always been a strong contender in this category, with a strong 20 per cent share in the 149cc-155cc motorcycle segment.
"We intend to acquire a larger percentage with the newly launched YZF-R15 V4 and the AEROX 155, along with our existing range of premium offerings in the 125cc scooter, and the 150cc and 250cc motorcycling space," Shitara said.
Elaborating further, he noted that over the years, motorcycling has become a lifestyle statement for most millennials, with the industry witnessing a shift in paradigm in terms of performance and features as customers today are a lot more aware about the global product range and expect the same in India as well.
"Along with growing expectations, purchasing power has also surged and customers are willing to invest in two-wheelers with advanced features and technology," Shitara said.
He added that going forward, the company would also be introducing connected mobility solutions in its models along with some innovative technology to enhance the safety quotient of its products, to stay more relevant in the market.