Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has recently established a new company in Shanghai, for the development of Yamaha-brand motorcycles to be manufactured in China. The new company is slated to begin operation in July 2004.
Named Yamaha Motor R&D Shanghai Co., Ltd. (YMRS), the newly created firm is capitalized at US$4 million (approx. 420 million yen), and wholly owned by Yamaha Motor.
Previously, Yamaha Motor in Japan planned and developed motorcycles for the Chinese market, which were then manufactured and marketed by two joint-venture companies in China, Chongqing Jianshe-Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (Jianshe-Yamaha) and Zhuzhou Nangfan Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (Nangfan Yamaha).
The new development company will take over part of the development function of Yamaha Motor headquarters and focus on reflecting local needs promptly in product development. It will also plan and develop its own mainly 100cc- to 250cc-class motorcycles and scooters, as well as develop related parts, to be manufactured in China.
YMRS will start with 30 employees, and plans to obtain a site in Shanghai for a development facility to be constructed by the end of 2005.
With total demand for motorcycles in China standing at about 12 million units, the Chinese market is the largest in the world. Due to favorable sales of 125cc-class motorcycles and scooters, Yamaha Motor's unit sales in 2003 amounted to 160,000 (a 242% increase from 2002), and are expected in 2004 to reach 340,000 (a 213% increase from 2003).
Yamaha Motor is now restructuring the foundation of its motorcycle business in China, in a drive to hone its competitive edge in the country. The launch of the new motorcycle marketing company in China announced last month is also part of the effort. As it looks to boost its motorcycle business in China, Yamaha Motor continues to respond promptly to changes in the market and offer products that meet customers' evolving needs.