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Yamaha's Unique Electric Scooter Set to Hit India, Posing a Challenge to RX100

CalenderPublished at June 15, 2024 by BikeJunction
Yamaha's Unique Electric Scooter Set to Hit India, Posing a Challenge to RX100

Yamaha is taking a different approach in the Indian market. Instead of expanding its EV portfolio, it prioritised the development of a unique and powerful electric scooter.


While Yamaha is yet to launch an electric two-wheeler in India, the company has said that it is working on something truly unique. Eshin Chihana, President of Yamaha Motor India Group of Companies, spoke about various possibilities in the Indian market. Furthermore, the company aims to position India as a key manufacturing hub to support Yamaha’s global business.


Yamaha is taking a cautious approach in the electric two-wheeler market, planning to release one or two electric models by 2030. Despite this reservation, teams in Japan and India are working on "unique offerings" designed for the Indian market. Yamaha’s first electric two-wheeler for India will reflect the brand’s core strengths: style, performance and speed. To support its EV ambitions, Yamaha recently invested in River, an EV startup that specialises in the development and sale of electric scooters.


With Yamaha’s input, the startup launched River Mobility in Bengaluru. This company will be an important part of Yamaha’s electric mobility in India. Chihana said that River has shown technical specifications which will help create outstanding products for the Indian market.


Yamaha Enthusiasts Favor Fuel-Powered Bikes

Another reason Yamaha is in no hurry to join the EV race is that most of its customers prefer fuel-powered motorcycles. Yamaha primarily targets Gen Z aged 18-25. Young riders are motivated by emotion, Chihana said, which is a key consideration for Yamaha’s upcoming electric scooter.


Looking ahead, Yamaha plans to put a stronger emphasis on its ICE segment. The company projects that sales of ICE two-wheelers will account for around 70-80% of the total two-wheeler market by 2030. Yamaha expects its core customer base to increase to more powerful ICE motorcycles capable of travelling the opposite distance.


Rising Production Volumes in India

Yamaha aims to position India as a major manufacturing hub. Besides increasing exports from India, Yamaha plans to follow Indonesia as the country’s second main pillar in global manufacturing. In 2023, Yamaha India ranks fourth in terms of profitability in the company.


As part of its next three-year medium-term plan (2025-27), Yamaha will focus on the electric vehicle segment and expand its operations in countries like India. Currently, Yamaha is focusing on increasing luxury bike sales to the growing mid-range class in markets such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Moreover, the expansion of Blue Square malls in India remains a priority.


Significant Challenge of relaunching RX100

While the RX100 boasts a significant fan following, bringing it back to its original 2-stroke, 100cc format is a challenge. In the modern era of 4-stroke motorcycles, the engine capacity will need to be at least 200cc to match the performance and speed of the original RX100. Recreating the RX100’s unique exhaust tone is another obstacle. Chihana said he is always looking for solutions and is eager to revive the iconic RX100.


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Image Source: Economic Times

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