Yamaha switches gear in India, launches ‘Ray’ scooter

Yamaha Motor has switched gear from motorbikes to scooters, especially for women, with the Friday launch of ‘Ray’ scooter model in India, hoping to make an impressive presence in four years from now.

India Yamaha Motor, a unit of Japanese two-wheeler company Yamaha, has introduced the “Ray” scooter, with 113-cc engine capacity priced Rs46,000 in the range of similar scooter models of rivals like Honda, Hero Moto Corp, Suzuki, Mahindra and TVS.

Known for it rugged range of motorcycles Yahama has introduced the model in New Delhi, with plans to start one more factory in Chennai. Its current factories are in Surajpur in UP and Faridabad in Haryana. With a production capacity of 400,000 units a year now, it wants to touch one million by 2014. “This would reach 2.8 million units by 2018,” India Yamaha Motor’s chief executive Hiroyuki Suzuki said, unveiling Ray on Friday in Hyderabad.

“Ray” scooter is equipped with an air-cooled 4-stroke 113cc engine with CVT (Continuous variable transmission) that achieves better reliability. “The engine achieves good fuel economy in the practical-use speed range, a power output characterized by smooth start-up acceleration and quick passing acceleration and more. The body has fresh, innovative styling. It is full of fine touches that women will appreciate, like a seat designed with easy leg reach to the ground and ease of mounting in mind, ample storage space and easy to operate center and side stands,” the company said.

Hiroyuki Yanagi said: “For the global Yamaha Motor group, India Yamaha Motor holds great importance as a strategic production and sales base. By 2018, our total production capacity in India will reach 2.8 million units. At that point, India will play an extremely important role among Yamaha group, not just in supplying to the Indian domestic market but also in exporting to other markets around the world. We will be working aggressively to transfer our latest technologies to India in the hope of making every contribution we can to the development of India’s two-wheeler industry.”

In India, the sales of scooters rose 23 percent to 1.17 million in April-August quarter 2012 compared to 3.3 percent or 4.22 million units of motorcycles, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Yamaha’s main rival will be Italian scooter maker Piaggio which has unveiled its new scooter in India in a high-range segment of 70,000 rupees.

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