November 15, 2012: India Yamaha Motor’s (IYM) marketing strategy to promote its first scooter, the Ray during the ongoing festival season seems to have paid off. The one-off campaign during the first 10 days of the month saw a convoy of six young women, each riding a Yamaha Ray through schools, shopping malls and complexes and other prominent places across Delhi to reach out to its target customer: the young urban woman.
With grey and black being the most preferred colour options, Yamaha has sold over 16,000 units of the Ray since its launch on September 14 with 4,000 bookings still pending. While September witnessed billings of 3,617 units, October saw sales of 12,249 units with the balance accounted for in November.
State-wise, Maharashtra stands as the largest contributor with a 12.5 percent share to total sales of the Ray while zone-wise South India has contributed close to 40 percent. The company expects to cross sales of 25,000 Rays during the festival season and targets selling a total of 40,000 units by the end of this year.
Following the Ray’s launch, IYM has undertaken several activities to attract its target customers and boost sales which includes expansion of the pan-India dealership network, appointments of female-centric staff at customer contact points and has also introduced a female customer care programme. The company has also designed a female-focussed riding training programme called Yamaha Female Riding Training Program and it will be implemented across India soon.
The Ray competes with the Honda Activa, TVS Pep and Hero Pleasure. Among two-wheelers, the scooter market has seen growing sales for the past year. SIAM’s April-October 2012 vehicle sales statistics reveal that the scooter/scooterette market notched cumulative sales of 1,701,474 units, up 22.27 percent on the 1,391,558 units sold in April-October 2011 (see chart below).
To ensure that the gearless scooter gets more mileage with increased visibility and more number of point-of-sales, the company has inaugurated a clutch of new 3S (Sales, Service and Spare Parts) dealerships in Pune, Mumbai and Nashik. Recognising the strong sales growth in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across the country, the company aims to set up the bulk of its new dealerships in these areas and plans to expand its current footprint of over 400 dealerships to 2,000 by 2018. This translates into an average of 20 new dealerships being set up every month.
Given 100 percent localisation, the Ray has been competitively priced at Rs 46,000 (ex-showroom Delhi). Yamaha’s grand expectation from the Indian scooter market is underlined in its projection of scooters contributing 40 percent of its total sales by 2014.
IYM eyes 10 percent market share in India by 2016
The Indian two-wheeler industry has witnessed steady growth in the last few years, attributable to increased disposable income levels among a rapidly expanding middle class. Estimates suggest that the industry will attain a 20 million unit level by 2016, of which Yamaha is targeting a 10 percent market share.
IYM's third manufacturing facility, to come up in Chennai, will employ a ‘theoretical-value-based production’ concept that operates on a system of completely synchronised manufacturing of parts and assembly of complete two-wheelers. The Rs 1,500 crore investment is in addition to the Rs 750 crore being invested in the existing facilities in Noida and Faridabad for capacity expansion, product development and network expansion. Overall, along with HMSI, this is another Japanese player worth watching.