Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has announced that it plans to withdraw from the snowmobile segment by 2025. The 2024 model year will be the final for available production in the European market, while North America’s final production will be the 2025 model year.
Over the past 55 years, Yamaha developed snowmobiles for sports, leisure, and business use as a means of transportation, mainly in snowy areas found in North America and Europe. Yamaha also aimed to grow the business through the early introduction of environmentally-friendly 4-stroke models and alliances with other companies. However, the company says it has been a challenge to reach a sustainable business model in the snowmobile market.
Going forward, Yamaha says it will concentrate management resources on current business activities and new growth markets.
According to Bryan Hudgin, director of marketing and brand development for Yamaha Canada, Yamaha Japan made this decision to focus on high-volume product groups and increase investment in identified growth markets. “When it comes to a global scale, it’s something that Yamaha Motor Corporation is looking at constantly – whether or not the volume there that is required and the growth in the market – and if the industry is big enough to continue. [Yamaha] has decided to focus more attention on current industries where we’ve got more success and invest in identified growth markets.”
Yamaha says it will ensure parts availability, service, and related customer satisfaction now and after the snowmobile final production run occurs.
Hudgin and his team spoke with dealers before the news was released to the media. “What’s clear to us is that each of our dealer’s businesses is unique. For some dealers, snowmobiles are about 5 to 10 percent of their business; for other dealers, it’s 50 to 60 percent, so we’re working with them over the course of the next two to three years to make sure we can continue our relationship with them. But each one is unique, and we’ve got to work with each of them individually to make sure we’re putting them in the best status as well as ourselves to move forward.”
Production of the recently introduced 2024 models is underway and scheduled for fall delivery. Yamaha distributors will be working closely with dealers to minimize impact and best position their business over the next 12 – 36 months.
“We do want to make the next two years a celebration of our snowmobiles,” says Hudgin. “We want to thank our snowmobile customers and talk about some of the great innovations that Yamaha brought to market for more than 50 years of Yamaha snowmobiles.”
Due to the exit schedule, the effect on consolidated business results will be minor, according to Yamaha.