Yamaha Motor Company (Yamaha) launched a test driving session for snowmobiles at Tangram Madarao (in Nagano Prefecture), which is a resort facility.
Since the release of the SL350 in 1968, Yamaha has been the only snowmobile manufacturer in Japan, and they have currently developed three models with four-stroke engines, and a model with a two-stroke engine made for Japan.
According to Yamaha, in the global demand for snowmobiles, 40% came from the USA, and 35.2% came from Canada; therefore, the majority of the demands were already coming from the two countries in North America. Next, 13% of the demand came from Russia, 11% from Europe, and only around 0.1% from other countries.
The tendency of the American market is that almost all of it is for the leisure industry. They developed a trial system where one can enjoy using the snowmobiles, and also conduct racing sessions. Canada also centralizes the leisure industry, but this market has a huge demand for utility models and two-seater models.
Russia mainly uses these models at undeveloped wastelands for leisure and business, and 80% of it is comprised of utility models.
This market is somehow similar with the European and Canadian market, but it is said that this market has developed with utility models and two-seater models as vehicles for family use.
The overall demand in Japan changed to 600 to 800 units per year, and these snowmobiles are mainly used for leisure and forest management. About 70% of it is being used for business purposes, particularly in ski resorts, hotels, pensions, as well as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and forest service field offices.
And then, 30% of the demand came from sports and leisure, and according to Yamaha’s analysis, many consumers from ages 30 to 55 years old use the snowmobiles for touring. The average age for that is around 39 years old, and the average age of people in between 15 to 35 years old who enjoy using snowmobiles for outdoor intentions is 22 years old. Company employees who like motorsports enjoy snowmobiles as hobby.
Yamaha shipped 21,000 units in 2014, and its best component ratio came from Russia, with 42.7%. On the other hand, it was 21.3% for Canada, 18.7% for the USA, and 16.5% for Europe.
Furthermore, Yamaha collaborated with Masako Izumi’s North Pole expedition ‘I want to stand at the top of the earth’ in 1986, when she was still an actress. Yamaha snowmobiles greatly contributed to the 62-day, 800km ride to the North Pole.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)