Japanese two-wheeler major Yamaha expects sales to remain in slow lane in the current fiscal due to the COVID-19 pandemic and growth to pick up in next fiscal, as per a senior company official.
The company, which has three manufacturing facilities at Surajpur (Chhattisgarh), Faridabad (Haryana) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu), expects production to touch pre-Covid levels only in the next financial year with muted demand in the current fiscal.
Yamaha had resumed manufacturing operations from May as per government's standard operating procedures (SOPs), and currently its output is around 50 to 60 per cent of the total capacity at the production facilities.
"We will be able to achieve pre-Covid level production targets in the next fiscal only," Yamaha Motor India Sales Senior Vice President Ravinder Singh told PTI.
The current fiscal will continue with stifled sales volume owing to low demand due to the prolonged lockdown, disruption in manufacturing operations and supply chain as well as social distancing, he added.
"However, the demand is expected to gradually grow from the next fiscal, although the total sales volume for the year 2020 will remain the lowest in a decade," Singh noted.
There have been issues related to availability of skilled manpower for core processes like welding, painting, casting and moulding, among others, but the company has managed it quite well by continuous training and upskilling of existing workforce to handle these critical functions, Singh said.
As a result, the company can now utilise the trained and skilled workforce on a rotation basis as per the requirement in different functions, he added.
In July, the company sold around 26,373 motorcycles and 23,616 scooters, Singh noted.
"So, we can say both the motorcycle and scooter models have contributed equally to the overall company's sales," he added.
Right now, the company's focus is to rejoin the market while revitalising the excitement that has effaced out owing to the lockdown, Singh said.
He added that the upcoming festive season would be the first stage effort to revive the economy.
Like every business, the two-wheeler maker is also gearing up with regular monitoring of dealers' stock and inventories, observing safety and hygiene in showrooms as per government guidelines and planning promotions through digital mediums, Singh said.
"The early signs of an upward trend have already been found in the June and July sales volumes, and although the whole year has gone into being soft regarding sales revenue, the festive seasons are expected to offer a partial recovery of the market demand," he added.
The festive season has an appetite for a certain demand which is the outcome of a favourable monsoon and profitable farm output or a planned purchase and paid out bonuses, Singh said.
Yamaha has ventured out to create an optimum digital reach, he said.
"Although exceeding sale numbers of the last year with 2020 sales will be among the very last to expect with record businesses faltering and human lives lost due to the COVID 19 impact," he noted.The company will continue to be forward looking with a focused approach towards contactless business operations that curb physical contacts and calibrating digital technologies in offering more comfort and convenience of purchase, he added.