On Dec. 2, 2002, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.s (YMC) motorcycle joint venture in Taiwan, Yamaha Motor Taiwan Co., Ltd. (YMT) (Representative: Mitsuaki Matsuo, Location: Chungli City, Taiwan) celebrated the line-off of the first of a production lot of scooters manufactured for the Japanese market and proceeded to commence mass production. This marks the start of a major shift of production of Japanese market scooters from Japan to Taiwan that will involve some 130,000 units over the next two years. Until now, Yamaha brand models of the 100cc and 125cc classes had been manufactured in Taiwan for the Japanese market, but with the new shift in production, 50cc models which make up 90% of the companys scooter production, will also be manufactured by YMT.
Plans call for about 75,000 scooters to be manufactured in Taiwan for the Japanese market in 2003, and by 2005 the planned annual production will be about 130,000.
The scooter model that has just come off the line at YMT is the Yamaha Jog with advanced features like remote control key, the Yamaha G-Lock system and front disc brake, and plans call for sales to begin in Japan in January 2003 at a price of 10 to 20% less than the existing model. By having Yamaha scooters manufactured in Taiwan, where the technological development staff is successfully meeting the worlds strictest emissions standards and the manufacturing division meets international quality standards, the concentration of scooter production will lead to greater efficiency and reduced costs so that Yamaha can supply its customers with high-quality scooters with advanced functions at an affordable price.
With an annual domestic scooter demand of about 640,000 units and one of the highest per capita ownership rates in the world, Taiwan is certainly one of the worlds most advanced scooter markets and Yamaha brand scooters are very popular especially among younger people because of their sporty and stylish design and high-level engine performance. By beginning mass production of scooters for the Japanese market in Taiwan, Yamaha will be taking the fullest possible advantage of the experience and achievements of the Taiwanese R&D functions in the development and manufacture of products for the Japanese market that combine the best traditions of Yamaha manufacturing quality plus lower cost.
In order to strengthen the international competitiveness of its core motorcycle product line, Yamaha is involved in a revolution in product creation aimed at supplying quality products at low prices in a speedy and timely fashion. In the future we will continue to revise our production layout from a global perspective and revolutionize our development and manufacturing processes through wide-ranging revisions in supply and component supply systems.
As for the manufacturing divisions in Japan, we will continue to revolutionize our manufacturing processes as we concentrate production on larger-displacement models with higher added value.
Last year, Yamaha Motor Taiwan manufactured about 230,000 scooters in the 50cc to 125cc classes for the domestic and overseas markets. With the present shift of manufacturing of models for the Japanese market to YMT, the company will be using its manufacturing capacity to the fullest as it raise annual production to the 350,000-unit level.
As for the global trend in scooter demand, the total world demand for these convenient and utilitarian vehicles in 2000 was about 7.7 million units, and that number is expected to exceed 8 million by the year 2005.