Yamaha India to equip product range with side-stand engine cut-off switch

by Sricharan R 02 Jan 2020

India Yamaha Motor is going ahead with a plan to incorporate a couple of new fuel-efficient and safety features for its entire motorcycle and scooter model range. They essentially comprise the side-stand engine cut-off system and the engine stop-start system. The side-stand cut-off system switches off the engine when the side stand is on. Though this is not completely new to the Indian market, Yamaha plans to make this feature mandatory in all its two-wheelers. While some Indian OEMs have an indicator for the side-stand, KTM, Hero MotoCorp, TVS Motor Co and Honda have implemented such a kill switch in some of their products.

Speaking on the new features, Yasuo Ishihara, managing director, Yamaha Motor Research & Development, India said, “The side-stand engine cut-off feature is mandatory in all European countries, and we considered bringing it in the India market. This is incorporated mainly for safety. The new regulations in the country concentrate on safety and we decided to bring it along with BS VI. Soon, in a phased manner, we will be introducing this feature to all our vehicles in India.”

Meanwhile, Yamaha has fitted the stop-start system, which prevents engine idling and subsequently starts with a single throttle twist, in its new product launches. According to Ishihara, the new start-stop system will add value to the BS VI engine structure, given the slow-moving traffic situation in most major Indian cities. The company has also increased the battery size to manage the start-stop system. 

Targeting 10% two-wheeler market share by 2025
India Yamaha Motor, which currently has a two-wheeler market share of 3.21 percent (April-November 2019 / Scooters 4.69% and Motorcycles 2.63%), has outlined an ambitious growth target of achieving a 10 percent market share by 2025. It also plans to increase its exports. The company is expecting to register total sales of around 650,000 units in FY2020. In the April-November 2019 period, Yamaha has sold a total of 412,445 units, which is 27 percent down on year ago sales of 568,882 units. In FY2019, Yamaha had sold a total of 804,682 units, which constituted 1.5% YoY growth (FY2018: 792,802).

Ready for the BS VI shift, looks to upgrade dealership network
Yamaha’s BS VI journey began on November 9, 2019 when it rolled out the first of its BS VI-compliant products – the new FZ-F1 and FZS-F1 – followed by the fuel-injected Fascino 125, Ray ZR 125 and Ray ZR 125 Street Rally scooters in early December. The Chennai-based two-wheeler says it has readied its service stations for handling BS VI two-wheelers and training of mechanics for the same has begun. 

Speaking about the investment for the new emission norms, Ravinder Singh, senior VP – Sales, Yamaha Motor India said, “We have invested around Rs 16 crore, especially for the new norms. This includes the key changes that need to be made for BS VI. While there’s no huge change to the engine, the double catalytic converter, O2 sensors, advanced OBD, and precise machining to carry the exhaust all come under the investment.”

Yamaha, which has a 593-strong dealership network at present, also plans to embark on a dealership upgrade programme to Blue Square, its premium concept showroom. At present, it  has one Blue Square showroom in Chennai and is to add another one there soon. By 2023, the company plans to converts its India-wide network to Blue Square showrooms.