Yamaha to develop sub-$500 motorcycle for India, Africa

  • Sumant Banerji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: May 23, 2012 23:06 IST

One may not be wrong to call it the Nano among motorcycles. Japanese two-wheeler major Yamaha is planning to develop the world’s cheapest motorcycle, to be priced at under Rs 28,000 ($ 500) for markets such as India and Africa.

The bike would be produced in India, which is being exploited by the company as a base for exports.

“Our product benchmark right now (on cost) is the YBR 110 and Crux, but we would like to develop a bike in the low-cost segment for markets like Africa,” Hiroyuki Suzuki, chief executive officer and managing director, India Yamaha Motor told Hindustan Times. “The target is to make a bike that will cost $500 (about Rs 27,500). I think such a bike will have a lot of demand in Africa as well as in India.”

The move comes barely a week after its arch rival Honda launched its cheapest bike yet in India, the Yuga, with a price tag of Rs 44,642. Honda had at the time said it would look to launch even cheaper products, though it had steered clear of the sub-Rs 30,000 segment.

At present, Yamaha’s cheapest bike is the 110cc Crux at Rs 38,365. This bike is sold in India and China. The bike that it is now planning would be priced substantially lower than some of the other entry-level bikes like market-leader Hero MotoCorp’s ageold bestsellers Splendor and Passion, the Bajaj Platina and TVS Star City.

The absolutely cheapest motorcycle available in India right now is Hero MotoCorp’s CD Dawn at Rs 36,300.


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