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Alexander Philimonov on Yamaha buyers in Russia

Head of market relations of Yamaha’s Russian representative office – Yamaha Motor CIS – Alexander Filimonov answered Motonews.ru’s questions about sales dynamics, the average Yamaha motorcycles customer, and brand policy…

How many Yamaha motorcycles are you selling in Russia?
Well, you can get the general market outlook by analyzing the imports statistics. It also includes information about Yamaha. The company does not publish its own sales data, however.
How does that compare to the previous years’ results? It’s no secret that the motor vehicles market shrank as a result of the unfortunate developments in the global economy, and Russia is certainly no exception.

How would you describe your average customer?
That’s a tough question. Companies spend significant funds on researching their own consumers. Market researchers readily write works like, “Who is this mysterious buyer?” and brand managers are more than willing to buy them. Each brand has its own kind of buyer, and moreover, each model has its own kind of buyer. A moto-client is different from the customer buying other types of vehicles for active recreation (snow-, quadro-, hydrocycles). This guy can harbor a dream about purchasing a motorcycle, and put away money for it, or do just the opposite and buy it on a whim. That’s why it is so hard to place our buyers into any specific category (age, gender, income, etc.). “Motorcyclism” is a general state of mind; it’s “blood made of gasoline.”

How many dealers does BMW have in Russia?
Over a hundred.

What new models can we look forward to seeing in the near future?
In the near future we’ll only see models that have already been unveiled: the FZ8 and Super Tenere.

Do you follow any motorcycle sporting events? Which ones?
MotoGP. At least, I try to follow the races.

Are there any grey dealers? How do you fight them, if at all?
There are some. The respective authorities deal with them.

What’s the brand’s pricing policy for Russia?
It’s market policy.

What do you do to attract customers? Do you run any special promo offers?
We regularly hold various campaigns. Lately, we’ve been focusing more on letting people really get to know the vehicles – doing test drives, Safe Driving Academies, etc.

Do you personally drive a motorcycle? Do you have the Category A license?
I do, and I ride an FZ1S.

What do you think a motorcycle will be like in 10 years?
For some reason, I don’t think motorcycles are going to change dramatically in terms of their concept. They’ll still have two wheels, and oil engines. Electric traction will never be able to replace the sound of the engine and the exhaust pipe. And I don’t think motorcycles will ever fly either.

Yamaha Motor was founded on July 1, 1955. As of September 30, 2008, its share capital amounted to 48.43bn yen. The company’s President is Takashi Kajikawa. Annual sales stand at about 1.7-1.75 trillion yen (about EUR 14.227bn-EUR 14.645bn). Motorcycles and scooters account for about 60.1 percent of Yamaha Motor’s sales, while water vehicles account for 16.5 percent, power products – for 15.1 percent, and other equipment – for 8.3 percent. In terms of sales distribution, 27 percent of Yamaha Motor’s sales are made in North America, 21.5 percent in Europe, 28.6 percent in Asia (with the exception of Japan), 10.3 percent in Japan, and 12.6 percent in other countries.

Yamaha Motor boasts a total of 44 offices in Japan and operates in 7 different countries of the Americas (7 in USA, 1 in Canada, 3 in Brazil, 1 in Columbia, 1 in Argentina, 2 in Mexico and 1 in Peru), in 15 European countries (3 in the Netherlands, 2 in France, 4 in Italy, 2 in Spain, and 1 each in Portugal, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium, Turkey, and Russia), 12 in Asia, Australia and Oceania (14 in China, 5 in Taiwan, 9 in Indonesia, 2 in Malaysia, 2 in Singapore, 3 in Vietnam, 4 in Thailand, 1 in the Philippines, 3 in India, 1 in Cambodia, 1 in Australia, and 1 in New Zealand).

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