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Yamaha mulls new plant in South India

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Launches Gladiator in two versions; to be priced at Rs 41,990 and Rs 44,990

ONE MORE WARRIOR: Mr T. Ishikawa, MD & CEO, Yamaha Motor India Pvt. Ltd. launching the 125-cc bike Gladiator in the Capital Wednesday. — Kamal Narang

New Delhi , May 10

Two-wheeler maker Yamaha Motor India on Wednesday said it would focus on niche products for future growth, even as it mulls setting up a new plant in South India by 2010.

"Since February this year, we have been going on a path which involves a complete change in business and marketing strategies from what we have been doing earlier," Yamaha Motors India CEO and Managing Director Mr T. Ishikawa said on the sidelines of a press conference announcing the launch of the company's new 125 cc bike, Gladiator.

He added that henceforth the company, which had a turnover of Rs 750 crore last year, would follow a focussed approach towards brand building and enhancing equity, and new products would follow a youth-centric approach.

Mr Ishikawa said the company, which has a 5 per cent market share in India, wants to increase it to 15 per cent by 2010. "Our target is to sell about one million bikes by 2010 for which we would need a new production unit," he said adding that the company would prefer to have its plant somewhere in South India.

Meanwhile, in line with its new strategy Yamaha on Wednesday launched the 125 cc `Gladiator' in two versions, priced Rs 41,990 and Rs 44,990 (ex-showroom Delhi) respectively.

Mr Ishikawa said the company expected to sell about 4 lakh units this year.

"For the domestic market we are targeting 3 lakh units and from exports we see a shipment of about one lakh units," he added.

Last year the company sold about 2.5 lakh units, of which 2 lakh were in the domestic market and the rest were exported, he said.

Earlier this year, the company announced it would invest Rs 300 crore in the next two years on product development and expansion. It also said it would increase the number of dealerships to 450 this year across the country. Asked if the company would enter the scooter market in India, Mr Ishikawa no decision had been taken yet.

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