Yamaha Sales Slide 8.7% in 2008

Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. net sales for its year ended Dec. 31, 2008, fell 8.7 percent to ¥1.604 trillion ($16.99 billion) as demand for products in all of the company’s business segments decreased due to the financial crisis that began in the United States during the first half of the year and quickly spread globally.

Yamaha motorcycle and scooter revenue in 2008 was ¥1.028 trillion, down 2.6 percent from the previous year. The company sold 5,865,000 motorcycles and scooters worldwide last year, up from 4,997,000 units in 2007. Sales of smaller margin vehicles increased due to burgeoning economies in places like Indonesia, Thailand, China and Brazil, but fell for larger margin vehicles in “mature” markets like North America, Europe and Japan. As a result, operating income from Yamaha’s motorcycle business declined 46.7 percent to ¥33.6 billion.

Motorcycle Sales
North America… 167,000 units (2008), 197,000 units (2007)
Europe… 366,000 units (2008), 410,000 units (2007)
Japan … 122,000 units (2008), 163,000 (2007)
Asia… 4.72 million units (2008), 3.77 million units (2007)
Other… 493,000 units (2008), 457,000 units (2007)

Yamaha expects business conditions “to remain extremely harsh,” and forecasts consolidated net sales to plunge 22 percent to around ¥1.250 trillion for the year ending Dec. 31, 2009.

In view of the significant decline in demand forecast in 2009, Yamaha plans to further reduce output at factories worldwide in an effort to optimize inventory levels, and take countermeasures focusing on comprehensive group-wide expense reductions, product price increases and emergency cost-cutting programs.

- Submitted by Guido Ebert