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Festive Season Brings Exclusive Customers: Motofumi Shitara, Chairman, Yamaha Motor India Group
Yamaha has recorded sales growth for four months in a row and is in no mood to relax. In fact, its relentless quest for reaching its customers whether offline or online is key, Motofumi Shitara, Chairman, Yamaha Motor India Group tells Ashish Sinha of BW Businessworld. Excerpts:
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Overall, the auto industry has seen some traction. How is Yamaha faring?
We were among the first few companies to say a steady rebound would be seen at the other end of this downturn. The result was seen in the rapid rebound of the company wholesales for four consecutive months of July, August, September and October 2020. Currently, we are focusing on retail and customer connect initiatives by continuously integrating it with Yamaha’s exciting brand engagements so that an inspiring trajectory of ‘poise and growth’ can make way for 2021. Yamaha is known across the world as a customercentric brand and it continues to be our future strategy. Customer-connect is not only our core business strategy for future, it is rather central to the company’s overall purpose
Share with us the steps you took to revive sales in each of the past four months?
What counted for Yamaha is the zeal to reach out to more customers through exciting and innovative ways. ‘Smart planning’ and being ‘strongly receptive to change’ are the two keywords for us. Our digital monitoring and research have accurately helped us in evaluating the projected customer demand of two-wheelers after the withdrawal of lockdown restrictions.
How is the digital sales strategy — setting up of Yamaha Virtual Stores — responding?
The Yamaha Virtual Store is a pilot project that reduces the challenges of physical distance between prospective customers and Yamaha. Begun initially for Chennai in August, we plan to cover 300 dealerships pan-India with this online sales module. The response is quite encouraging in Chennai and we are expecting similar response in other cities as well in future.
What are the offers by Yamaha this festive season? How do you plan to capitalise this?
The festive season bring exclusive customers to the showrooms who are either beneficiaries of a good agricultural production or carry aspirations of an upscale lifestyle. More than capitalising this time, Yamaha will look forward to building an intensified relationship with the prospective buyers. Apart from various finance offers encouraging savings and low investment, the company will also offer a minimum down payment of Rs 999 for buying scooters in target
Yamaha has entered the 125cc scooter segment. How are you planning to strengthen your presence in the scooter segment?
The 125-cc scooter market is estimated to grow at 10 per cent between 2020 and 2025. This segment is characterised by passionate riders, with die-hard aspirations of sportiness and style along with customers who are young and dynamic and love to experiment with various riding styles. This is exactly a vibrant representation of Yamaha’s target audience and the company has much to offer for such customers.