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'We Will Introduce Premium Segment EV In India'

EishinChihana, chairman, Yamaha Motor India tells Ashish Sinha about the company's EV push and more.

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Is there a genuine demand for EVs beyond the metro cities?

There has been a rapid rise in EV demand in the last few years. Even the government has rolled out schemes to push the EV demand. Though the market size may be around 3-4 per cent now, in another 5-7 years, it might increase to 8-10 per cent. And in a market like India, 8-10 per cent will be huge owing to the size of the Indian two-wheeler industry. To cater to such a demand, we must be prepared.

In that case, aren’t you already late in India?

We don’t want to do anything in a hurry. Our target is to make electric scooters really usable and trustworthy while creating aspiration under the Yamaha brand. We are already producing electric scooters for Europe and for the Taiwanese market. Importing and launching here is an option. Heat management is very important. So, for importing scooters, we will have to make some adjustments. The cost will become a factor then. In the long run, producing EVs in India seems like a more realistic option. Yes, our plan is to introduce a premium-segment EV in India.

Have you earmarked any investment for manufacturing EVs in India?

Not yet! We are still in the studying stage. It will depend on the type of body, chassis, and design that we want to introduce in the Indian market, because we have many types of EVs that are being sold abroad. We are discussing this very closely with Yamaha Japan.

 Will you be making any further investments in India?

Yes, it is very likely. It will depend on volumes. Currently, our installed production capacity at both the plants is 1.55 million units per annum, of which we are utilizing up to 50 per cent per annum. We can expand our production facilities in Chennai to meet future market demands. The amount of investment will depend on how many products we are producing after 2026. The final decision will be taken on this in coordination with YMC Japan.


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Magazine 23 August 2022