ORLANDO — Yamaha dealers learned about several new tools and programs that will be provided to them by Yamaha Motor Corp. USA at their national business meeting here this week. The tools and programs, say Yamaha executives, will help the dealers compete more successfully in the current soft market.
Dealers also learned about a new cruiser (the 1854cc Raider, pictured), a new Rhino 700 (the 686cc with EFI) and two new bikes, the WR250X and the WR250R, aimed at serious riders. The hot new Raptor 250 that had been released this spring also drew plenty of attention from dealers. The R6 also has been substantially reworked for 2008.
The Raider creates a new category for Yamaha, a custom cruiser with styling influenced by choppers. The project is an effort by Yamaha to stretch the STAR brand to include younger riders. The custom cruiser segment has been growing faster than the so-called classic cruiser segment over the last 12 months, according to MIC statistics, noted Yamaha executives in announcing the Raider. The base Raider has an MSRP of $13,180.
The new Pro Yamaha dealer program is designed to keep current customers and attract new ones by increasing customer satisfaction, dealers were told. The program contains five areas that dealers can work on and through which they can receive performance points: customer satisfaction, lifestyle marketing aimed at improving the rider's ownership experience, improving staff knowledge, service and brand support.
Yamaha dealers who participate successfully are eligible to become a Yamaha Specialist dealer, in Star, Sport or Outdoor equipment.
The program is unlike anything offered by other OEMs, say Yamaha executives, although it has similarities to Honda's PowerHouse dealer program. (Continued)