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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yamaha Plans Russian Dealerships

bloombergYamaha's new dealerships are part of a plan to double sales next year.
TOKYO -- Yamaha Motor, the world's second-largest motorcycle maker, said it would set up its first dealers in Russia, part of its plan to double 2006 sales and tap demand in an economy that grew 5.4 percent in the first six months.

Yamaha's sales in Russia may rise to about 10 billion yen ($88.8 million) next year, from 5 billion yen in 2004, president Takashi Kajikawa said.

Yamaha will use its sales company to sell YZF-R1 motorcycles and other models when contracts with six importers expire in December, he said.

"We expect our sales in Russia to rapidly increase after next year," Kajikawa said. "The number of wealthy people is increasing in Russia."

Yamaha is counting on sales in Russia, China and other overseas markets to help it catch up with Honda Motor as the pace of growth in Japan stalls.

The company, based in Iwata city southwest of Tokyo, is expanding overseas production to increase its share of the global motorcycle market to 12 percent by 2007, from 9.9 percent in 2004.

Retail sales in Russia jumped 32 percent last year to $193.5 billion, after wages doubled in dollar terms over the course of 2003 and 2004.

Yamaha sold about 13,000 outboard motors, 2,500 snowmobiles and 2,000 motorcycles last year in Russia, the company said.

Yamaha derives about 53 percent of its sales from motorcycles and 21 percent from marine products.

The company last week raised annual profit forecast by 28 percent, citing stronger sales in Asia. The company expects net income of 60 billion yen in 2005, compared with its previous forecast of 47 billion yen.