Yamaha Motor Corp. reported a 5.3% increase in motorcycle sales revenue in 2014 despite selling 3.4% fewer motorcycles compared to 2013. On the surface, those numbers may seem contradictory, but digging deeper reveals the bulk of the sales decrease came in emerging markets whereas Yamaha’s motorcycle sales in developed markets, where the products are higher in both performance and price, increased by 13%.
According to the company’s 2014 fiscal report, Yamaha sold 5.80 million motorcycles through the year, a decrease of 210,000 units from 2013. To put that into perspective, KTM and Ducati both claimed company sales record in 2014, but together, they combine for a total of just 203,860 motorcycles.
Customers in Asia and other emerging markets bought 5.39 million motorcycles in 2014 compared to 5.65 million in 2013. Meanwhile, customers in developed markets such as North America, Europe and Japan purchased 414,000 motorcycles last year compared to just 370,000 in the year before.
So for Yamaha, the overall drop in unit sales wasn’t a bit deal as net sales increased to ¥977.6 billion (US$8.22 billion) from the ¥928.2 billion reported in 2013. Sales revenue from developed markets saw a 21.9% increase, reaching ¥215.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) thanks to the introduction of new models such as the FZ-09 and FZ-07.
Yamaha reported sales of 79,000 motorcycles in North America, up from the 76,000 motorcycles sold in 2013. Sales in Europe were even more promising, with Yamaha reporting an increase to 191,000 units from 162,000. Yamaha also did well in its home market, increasing Japanese sales to 123,000 motorcycles in 2014 from 109,000 units in the year before.
Overall, Yamaha reported a net profit of ¥68.5 billion in 2014, up from a profit of ¥44.1 billion in 2013.
Yamaha expects to see further growth in the year ahead. 2015 represents the final year of Yamaha’s “Medium-Term Manage Plan” announced at the end of 2012 which called for an aggressive expansion of its product lineup. Yamaha forecasts sales of 6.28 billion motorcycles in 2015 including 440,000 units from emerging markets. The company also expects motorcycle net sales to top ¥1.11 trillion in 2015 including ¥240.0 billion from developed markets.