The snowmobile uses two skis at the front for changing directions
and track belts at the rear for engine-driven propulsion. It has developed into a mode of transportation for people in snowy areas, and also as a source of motorsports and leisure enjoyment. Applications can be broken down roughly into leisure and utility. Additionally, in Japan, snowmobiles are also used in winter for power line maintenance, for spreading snow-melting agents on cultivated areas, for fish farming in frozen lakes, etc.
Background of the Business
Applying the engine technologies it had developed for motorcycles,
Yamaha Motor released its first snowmobile model, the SL350, in
1968 and its first model for recreational use in 1970. Since then, the Company has worked to expand its lineup, catering to a variety of needs as the only snowmobile manufacturer (of completely built-up units) in Japan.
Current Business and Market Conditions
While North America, Russia and the Scandinavian countries of
Sweden, Norway and Finland constitute the largest markets, Yamaha
snowmobiles are sold in over 30 countries worldwide, including
Japan and other countries throughout Europe and Asia. In recent
years, there have been greater calls for better environmental performance from snowmobiles as well. Yamaha Motor has answered this by continuing to pioneer the development of models with 4-stroke engines.