Success Story of Yamaha Motor - How it Started & Became a Market Leader

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Indian's love for two-wheelers is not unknown. As per reports by ReaserchAndMarkets, com, the sales volume of two-wheelers in India is expected to rise to 24.89 Million units by 2024, from 21.19 Million Units in 2019. India is one of the largest Motorcycle Markets in the world. Another 2019 report claims that the two-wheeler market in India is mostly dominated by motorcycles, as motorcycles occupy two-thirds of the two-wheeler market segment in India, followed by scooters and mopeds.

When it comes to two-wheelers, one Japanese brand that Indians are really loving is Yamaha. Yamaha Motor forayed into India in 1985, and since then the company has become a popular name in the Indian two-wheeler market. Here is the Story of Yamaha Motor.

  • Company Name-Yamaha Motor
  • Headquarters-Shizuoka, Japan
  • Sector-Automotive
  • Founders-Genichi Kawakami
  • Founded-1955

About Yamaha Motor

Though well known in India as a two-wheeler manufacturer, Yamaha Motors is more than a two-wheeler manufacturer. Apart from scooters and motorcycles, Yamaha Motors manufactures motorized products and marine vehicles as well. Yamaha's wide range of products includes scooters, motorcycles, motorized bicycles, sailboats, water scooters, fishing boats, outboard motors, 4-wheeler ATVs(All -Terrain-Vehicles), racing cars, water pumps, drones.

Yamaha Corporation which was the parent organization of Yamaha Motors, and still is a major shareholder in Yamaha Motors offers a wide range of products and services too. Yamaha Corporation products include various network devices, unified communication solutions, automobile interior components, and various electronic components and devices.

Yamaha Motor - Startup Story

The history of Yamaha Motor dates back to 1897 when Nippon Gakki Co. was formed. Nippon Gakki Co. was established as a reed organ (a kind of musical instrument) manufacturer by Torakusu Yamaha. In 1900, the company also started manufacturing pianos. Nippon Gakki Co was renamed Yamaha Corporation in 1987 after the name of its founder Torakusu Yamaha. Starting as a manufacturer of musical instruments, Yamaha grew to become one of the leading manufacturers of electronic items as well.

During World War 2, Nippon Gakki Co. was manufacturing aircraft propellers and other war-related equipment. After the war ended, and Japan regained its sovereignty in 1952, the then President of  Nippon Gakki Co., Genichi Kawakami started to look for ways to put the machines the company used during world war to some good use. After going through several ideas, it was decided that Nippon Gakki Co. will now start manufacturing motorcycles. Motorcycle engineers at Nippon Gakki started developing its first motorcycle by taking inspiration and references from German manufacturer DKW. In 1954, Nippon Gakki's first prototype of the “YA-1" motorcycle was complete. In February 1955, Nippon Gakki Co.'s YA-1 motorcycles were out in the market for sale.

On July 1st, 1955, the Motorcycle division was separated from Nippon Gakki Co. and was renamed Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd.

Yamaha Motor- Founder & CEO

Founder, Yamaha

Genichi Kawakami was the eldest son of Kaichi Kawakami who was the President of Yamaha (then Nippon Gakki Co.) since 1927. Genichi graduated from Takachiho College of Commerce. Genichi joined the Nippon Gakki Co. in 1937. Genichi was the person behind the inception of Yamaha Motors. He served as the president of Yamaha Corporation(then Nippon Gakki Co.) from 1950 to 1977 and again from 1980 to 1983. Genichi wrote several books on music and is also the man behind starting Yamaha Music Schools. Yamaha Music Schools is present across 40 countries now. Genichi quoted "If you're going to do something, be the best." and his works were guided by this very philosophy.

Currently, Yoshihiro Hidaka is the CEO of Yamaha Motor. Yoshihiro joined Yamaha Motor in 1987 and took charge as a CEO in 2018.

Yamaha Motor -Tagline and Logo

Yamaha Motor's tagline is, 'Revs your Heart'.

Yamaha's logo depicts three tuning forks. The logo as per Yamaha's official site represents the three main pillars of Yamaha's business i.e, Technology, Production, and Sales. The Tuning Forks also marks Yamaha's leadership in the field of Music. The three tuning forks symbolize Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm, which are the three essential elements of music.    

Yamaha Motor - Revenue Model

Yamaha Motor's main sources of revenue include:

Revenue from the sale of products like two-wheelers, boats and marine vehicles, drones, engines, robotic products, golf cars, snowblowers, electric wheelchairs, etc. Yamaha Motors also sells various biking apparel and accessories.

Revenue from the sale of spare parts.

Revenue from After-sales service.

Revenue from financial services like sales finance and leases related to the company's products.

Yamaha Motor products are available through dealers. In India alone, Yamaha Motor has over 2200 customer touchpoints and more than 500 dealers. Customers can book the vehicles online. Yamaha's spare parts and engines can be bought online.

Yamaha Motor - Competitors

The top competitors of Yamaha Motor are Honda, Harley Davidson, Royal Enfield, and Ducati.


Honda is the top competitor of the company Yamaha. The company is headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, and was founded in 1947. As of 2019, Honda became the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles, as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines.


Suzuki Motor Corporation is one of the top competitors of the company Yamaha. The company is headquartered at Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka, and was founded in 1909. Suzuki deals in automobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, marine engines, etc.

Harley Davidson

American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson. It is not only one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers but also has a loyal fan following.

Royal Enfield

Indian multinational motorcycle manufacturing brand Royal Enfield is one of the oldest global motorcycle brands that are still in production. The first Royal Enfield was manufactured in 1901.


Audi-owned Ducati is yet another popular motorcycle manufacturer.

Yamaha Motor - Growth & Future Plans

Yamaha Motor is one of the largest sellers of motorcycles and water vehicles. Yamaha Motor today sells its products in 180 countries and regions outside Japan. The company has 132 consolidated subsidiary companies, 4 non-consolidated subsidiaries, and 28 affiliates as of December 2021.  Yamaha Motor is maintaining a constant increase in revenue. In 2018 Yamaha Motors reported annual revenue worth $15.226 Billion. While in 2019, the annual revenue increase by 0.59% to reach $15.316 Billion. However, the company too suffered due to the Covid 19 led crisis, which led to a decrease in annual revenue. In 2020, Yamaha Motor's revenue stood at $13.83 Billion, and in 2021, it stood at $11.724 billion, which is a sharp 9.7% decline from the previous year.

In India, Yamaha Motor reported a 33% growth in sales in December 2020, as compared to December 2019. In January 2021, also Yamaha reported a 53.57% growth in sales as compared to January 2020. From July 2020 to December 2020, Yamaha Motors India reported 40.61 % Month-on-Month Growth. In the year ending 31st December 2020, India Yamaha Motor reported revenue of over 500 Cr in  INR.

Regarding the future plans of the company, Yamaha Motor India wants to capture around 9% of the two-wheeler market segment from its current 4% share. To achieve this Goal, Yamaha Motor India is working to strengthen its product portfolio and introduce new products in the 125cc scooter and 150cc and 250cc motorcycle categories.  Besides opening new retail outlets, Yamaha Motors India is also planning to organize more on-ground activities to let its customers test-drive and take a feel of the company's products.  

Globally, Yamaha Motors has loftier plans. The company is taking steps to reduce Co2 emissions during production. It is also planning to introduce a range of electric vehicles. Long-term plans include the development of unmanned transportation and agricultural equipment and newer and innovative forms of mobility.


Yamaha Motor is based in which Country?

Yamaha Motor is a Japanese Company.

Are Yamaha Bikes made in India?

In India, Yamaha has 3 manufacturing plants, one each in Surajpur (UP), Faridabad(Haryana), and Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu). The two-wheelers and spare parts manufactured in these plants are used domestically in India and are also exported.

Who is the CEO of Yamaha Motor?

Yoshihiro Hidaka is the CEO of Yamaha Motor

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