There’s a reason Yamaha chose Hyderabad to launch the Ray. Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu seem to be the states most open to alternatives to the Honda Activa. Travel down South and the chance that you’ll spot a Duro, Rodeo or a Wego is much higher than elsewhere. Mahindra 2 Wheelers understands this and had a separate launch for the Duro DZ in Hyderabad and one in Chennai for the Rodeo RZ.
While targeting an extremely specific segment of the market seems to be a risky move, the new Ray, which Yamaha says has been designed and engineered to be compact, easy to use and stylish might make a strong dent in the market without getting lost in the crowd. Yamaha builds its case by pointing out that in India’s scooter market, most scooters are larger and heavier targeting male users and intended to be shared by members of the whole family. The Ray might just catch the fancy of the ladies with its sole aim of pleasing the fairer sex.
The Ray is powered by a 113cc engine with power to the wheels through a CVT. Yamaha claims the engine achieves good fuel economy in the practical-use speed range, a power output characterized by smooth start-up acceleration and quick ‘passing acceleration’. Riders should also be able to reach the ground easily with the specially designed seats. The side and center stands are also said to be easy to operate.
At the launch, Mr. Hiroyuki Yanagi, President and CEO of Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd., said “For the global Yamaha Motor group, India Yamaha Motor holds great importance as a strategic production and sales base. By 2018, our total production capacity in India will reach 2.8 million units. At that point, India will play an extremely important role among Yamaha group, not just in supplying to the Indian domestic market but also in exporting to other markets around the world. We will be working aggressively to transfer our latest technologies to India in the hope of making every contribution we can to the development of India’s two-wheeler industry”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Hiroyuki Suzuki, CEO & MD, India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd. said, “I am positive that we can get a strong presence soon in the Indian scooter market. Our dealers in India are dedicated to improving their facilities and services for the scooter sales. We have expanded our dealer network and specially improved customer care quality for female customers by appointing more female staffs at customer contact points and introducing female customer care programs. Secondly, we made an announcement to build a new factory in Chennai. We are planning to start this new factory from 2014 January. With this production capacity expansion, we are targeting to achieve 1 million units sales in 2014. We will expand our total production capacity further in the long term. We are planning to expand our sales to 2 million units in 2016 and 2.8 million units in 2018”, he added.
The company has started a new assembly line for scooters which is run entirely by women employees. This is the first time in India that a company has developed scooters for women assembled by women. The company has also developed a riding training program for female customers. The riding training program is named as Yamaha Female Riding Training program and will be implemented across India.
This model will be manufactured and marketed by Yamaha Motor group company India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd. (IYM) and will be available in Plush Pink, Purple Pastel, Shining Blue, Burgundy Bliss, Grey Grandeur and Black Star colors. It will be priced at 46,000/- (Ex-showroom Delhi).