Martinez then noted that the economy is ripe for the launch of the new sport quad. “We’re starting to see very positive trends in the economy, especially in the housing and construction markets where a very large number of our sport ATV customers work,” he said. “And our research shows that while they’ve still riding most weekends, they tend to be riding older machines. Based on this, we’re extremely confident that new sport ATV sales will begin to grow very shortly here into the future.”
Yamaha again will offer its Raptor sport ATV at three price points. All Raptors (and all Yamaha four-by-four models, for that matter) are now assembled in Georgia.
For the utility ATV segment, Yamaha announced that the redesigned Grizzly 700 will retail for the same price as last year’s model. Furthermore, Yamaha lowered the price of the Grizzly 450 by $500 and the price of the Grizzly 450 EPS by $300, with price protection on dealer inventory.
Before revealing the Viking SxS, Martinez spent some time explaining why Yamaha chose to introduce a multipurpose utility model first instead of a “pure utility” model or a “pure sport” model. In short, Yamaha chose the segment with the “highest potential for both unit and accessory volume.”
Martinez said Yamaha profiled the multipurpose customer. “Nearly half of them are farmers, ranchers and landowners, but three-quarters of them still like to hunt,” he said. “But most importantly, more than 8 out of 10 have owned an ATV, so it’s extremely likely that they’re already your customers. And best of all, what we’ve seen is that 70 percent of today’s side-by-side buyers are first-time side-by-side owners, so there’s a huge upward potential for this segment to continue to grow far into the future.”
Yamaha also researched what these typical customers wanted in a SxS and then provided it in the Viking, Martinez said.
“We’ve done our homework, targeting the largest side-by-side segment and customer base with a vehicle that’s best in class in everyone of these customers’ key requirements,” he continued. “We not only deeply researched the target customer, but we also looked at the current volume leader, the Polaris Ranger, and we built a machine that clearly beats it in durability, utility, off-road capability, comfort and performance.”
Martinez invited the dealers to drive both the Viking and the Polaris Ranger the next day in a demo area Yamaha set up outside the MGM Grand. Yamaha also has a Viking dealer demo truck that will travel the country to give dealer staff the same opportunity. And two consumer demo trucks will carry both the Viking and Yamaha’s entire ATV lineup.
Pro-Yamaha continues strong
The Pro Yamaha dealer training program is now six years old. At the dealer meeting Yamaha disclosed that the 383 Pro Yamaha dealers now account for more than 49 percent of total sales, and that their average CSI score is 94.8.
Yamaha launched in Vegas its YES (Yamaha Extended Service) prepaid maintenance program.
“The benefits are almost too numerous to mention,” said Frank Pittman, general manager of Yamaha’s Customer Support Group. “You get a steady stream of parts and service income through the product life cycle, and best of all, it keeps your customers coming back.”
Pittman also noted that the Yamaha Technical Academy service seminars have been so successful that Yamaha has added more locations this year.
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Yamaha boosts U.S. assembly operations with new Viking plant
Yamaha redesigns motocross bikes for 2014
Yamaha 2014 Grizzly 700 gets wider chasis, updated EPS
Inline 847cc three-cylinder powers new Yamaha FZ-09 sportbike
New Viking launches Yamaha's five-year plan for SxS intros