Well known Japanese motorcycle producer Yamaha Motor looks set to start building and selling two-seat cars in Europe by around 2019, according to a source that discussed the plans with Reuters.
Targeting mainly environmentally conscious customers, the Yamaha model would take on the most popular two-seat car in Europe – Daimler’s smart fortwo microcar. The German automaker has an established business model for the segment, relying not just on retail and fleet sales for the model, but also on an innovative vehicle sharing program called Car2Go. The smart fortwo – currently undergoing a generational change, also has an electric variant on sale. Yamaha first announced its intention to enter the automobile manufacturing business by presenting back in 2013 during the Tokyo auto show the Motiv concept microcar. It appears that the motorcycle maker is now ready to invest “tens of billions of yen” to establish a manufacturing facility in Europe, though details remain unknown in relation to the location or scale.
According to the person, who opted to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the information, the microcars would be equipped both with traditional powerplants – namely smallish 1.0-liter gasoline engines – and with electric propulsion. The information was first reported by the Nikkei business daily and the source added the company’s strategy envisions a strategy that would see Europe take front row for the introduction of the two-seat cars – sales in Japan and other Asian countries, especially emerging markets, would be considered afterwards.
Via Autommotive News Europe