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For a long time till 2007-08, Yamaha has been following the cost control strategy by focussing on the low -end 100cc bikes like Crux and Alba. This kept it market share to below 5%. In lieu of the growing Indian economy and the need for differentiator products, Yamaha revamped its strategy and shifted its focus to premium bikes. It launched R15 and FZ 150 in the 150cc segment in India. It plans to gain 20% market share in the premium segment by 2010.The 100cc bikes are supplied only if there is a pull, but the company has clearly indicated that it sees its future in the mid-market and premium segments. The company is not just willing to limit itself to just prestige pricing. It will provide more value to the customer in terms of attributes like great technology, superior design, ergonomics for long distance travelling etc. For example the company will be launching its new superbike FZ1- which is in the 1000cc segment. Apart from this, it is also optimistic about the FZ-16 series it has launched in the mid-market segment (150 cc) bikes. So hence, we can see that the aim is to provide niche products for the diverse customer segments. This is its market differentiation strategy.
Apart from providing niche products in the motorcycle segment, Yamaha is also foraying into the gearless scooter segment, according to a recent media report. Yamaha Motor racing is a sort of surrogate marketing for the high end 800cc and 1000cc bikes . Yamaha Motor India’s parent company is known all over the world for its musical instruments .With the establishment of Yamaha India, it “aims to be the most preferred brand for artists, music lovers and aspiring musicians in India.” Thus it has used its unrelated diversification concept in order to gain a presence in the Indian market.
In order to strengthen its market differentiator position, Yamaha also aims to provide maximum value at a cost-effective price. So recently it has aimed to reduce its expenses by 10%, and by integrating its design, procurement and manufacturing functions to reduce waste.
Foray into the rural markets
The rural market accounts for 70% of the sales of the motorcycle industry. An extensive dealer network would be set up to finance and educate the rural customers. The National Business Head, Mr Pankaj Dubey, cited,
“We have come up with a new initiative called ‘Yamaha Bike Corner'(YBC) to reach out to customers in rural and semi-urban areas. We will open 249 more YBC by the end of this fiscal,” he said.
“We are also focusing on our ‘Yes Yamaha’ strategy to give — Yes products, Yes partners and Yes promotion to realise our goals. Getting customer smile at Yamaha is the key strategy,” he said
Many bikes in the standard segment like the Crux and the YBR-110 are having a strong demand in the rural market and are crucial for the company to expand its market share, whereas the premium segment which is still in a nascent stage is crucial for the company to expand its bottom-line.
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Yamaha’s Breadth Strategy
Yamaha has globally forayed into an extensive range of products like motorcycles, scooters, electrically power assisted bicycles, boats, sail boats, personal watercrafts, pools, utility boats, fishing boats, outboard motors, diesel engines, 4-wheel ATVs, side-by-side vehicles, racing karts, golf cars etc.
Prospector- Miles and Snow’s strategic types
Yamaha can be described as a prospector (especially after the year 2007) as it has been constantly trying to explore new markets and opportunities. It provides bikes for almost every market segment ranging from the 100cc Crux to the 1000cc FZ1. It aims at providing a diversified product range to satisfy a wide variety of customer preferences. It has come up with several innovations like improving fuel efficiency of the bikes, introducing environment friendly engines, reducing the size of the engines and introducing light weight and compact metals for its bikes.
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