Sunday, September 14, 2008

Brand Update : Yamaha

In an interview with CNBC TV18, Rajiv Bajaj was asked about competition. His reply was he get jitters with the new launch of Yamaha R15. What Pulsar done to the motorcycles, R15 may repeat it.

I did not believe that statement. I viewed the launch of R15 with cynicism because of the price tag.

Can anyone think of buying a bike for Rs 100,000..

But a conversation with my journalist friend who handles the automobile-column in a leading newspaper changed my perception. According to him, R-15 is selling like hotcakes.

In my last post on the brand Yamaha, I had suggested that the brand needs was a statement. And it did make a statement with R15

R 15 is a stunner interms of looks. Auto reviews say that it doesn't disappoint interms of the performance.

More than that ,Yamaha got the timing correct. The market was evolving and there was a need for a motorcycle which made a statement. Two factors paved the way for the wide acceptance of R 15.

First was the emergence of a new set of customers who wanted a bike and was willing to pay the price to look different. R15 gave that fillip to this segment. These guys liked fast bikes and wanted something that suited the Indian conditions.

Second was the dealer support. Price wars among the bike marketers had significantly eroded the margins. R15 gave the dealers their required margin and they gave enough support for this bike.

Pulsar was too popular to be exclusive so the bike had to be exclusive and the higher price ensured that not everyone could afford this bike.

Whether R 15 will deliver volumes or not, it has given a new lease of life to Yamaha. The brand which was once an icon now have a chance to regain its lost status.

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