Yamaha, known initially as Nippon Gakki Co., obtained its name from Torakusu Yamaha, its founder. It started as a Western musical instruments manufacturer in Japan in 1887. It wasn’t until 1955 that the company’s motorcycle division was set up. While Yamaha still manufactures musical instruments, it also forms one-fourth of the four Japanese manufacturers in the two-wheeler industry. During World War II, the Japanese government contracted Yamaha to manufacture wooden and metal airplane propellers. The company struggled with the after-effects of the war. In the early 1950s, chairman Genichi Kawakami repurposed its underutilized wartime facilities to manufacture small motorcycles for leisure use.
Yamaha bikes made their footprint on Indian soil in 1985. Later in August 2001, it became a 100% Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, Japan (YMC) subsidiary. In 2008, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. agreed with YMC to become a joint investor in India Yamaha Motor Private Limited (IYM).
The company is in a league of its own by having some fantastic 150cc and 250cc models in its arsenal. India Yamaha Motor Private Limited is now in the middle of things, ranked in the top 10 companies in sales. Yamaha is one of the top three supergiant Japanese motorcycle companies (Honda and Kawasaki). Yamaha’s portfolio comprises Superbikes, Sportsbikes, Affordable bikes, and scooters. The superbike range is imported as CBU (Completely Built Unit). To increase sales volume, they are focussing heavily on the scooter’s range, for which, in India, there is enormous growth potential. They are showcasing their standards in each product. IYM is now focussing on increasing the country-wide network and product range. Reliability, aftersales service, and trustworthiness have made Yamaha bikes popular in the Indian market.