Yamaha Motor Research & Development India Private Limited has opened its second facility in India. The new R&D centre is located at the new Yamaha factory in Tamil Nadu. The company has invested Rs 66 crore towards setting up this facility. YMRI is Yamaha'a fifth R&D centre outside Japan.
Yamaha says that the new R&D centre will help it develop low-cost products while ensuring that the quality levels (it's renowned for) is maintained.
The R&D centre will focus on manufacturing products that not only cater to the needs of the Indian customers but also overseas customers. The facility has a dedicated R&D team, equipment and a test track. The test areas simulate Indian road conditions, helping engineers fine-tune the product.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Yasuo Ishihara, managing director, YMRI, said, The objective of the new centre is to develop models for India and eventually the global market. The Chennai centre shall be the second main pillar for YMRI. By collaboration with the current development power in Surajpur center, we aim to strengthen more of the cost reduction and attractive product development in the Chennai centre. The key role of this India Integrated Development Centre is to develop optimised specifications for the Indian market."
Yamaha India has been clear about its intentions for the Indian market. Its focus is now on scooters and commuter motorcycles as it aims for numbers from that segment of the market.
Yamaha has had quite a successful run in India after the launch of the FZ series and the R15. However, as time progressed, the competition has caught up and moved the game forward, in the performance bike segment.
Yamaha, meanwhile, has launched the Ray-ZR, Cygnus Alpha and Fascino to compete and garner market share in the burgeoning scooter segment. It also launched the Saluto RX recently to cater to the commuter segment.
Yamaha has committed Rs 1,500 crore towards its Make In India" programme by 2018. We hope to see Yamaha utilise its facilities to build bikes such as the MT-03, MT-07 and the recently launched Tracer in India. These bikes make a lot of sense for our market. Local production will help reduce costs and ultimately the ex-showroom price.
That would also help if Yamaha caters to the performance segment in the country that's doing quite well at present.