Yamaha Reports Strong Position Going into 2011 at Media Event

Yamaha Motor Canada provided a positive update of its marine segments at its annual media day held September 21 to 22 at Fern Resort in Orillia, ON. The media was also provided an opportunity to test new Yamaha product, including two new WaveRunner models announced in late August.

Rick Layzell, Yamaha's National Manager, Marine and OPE, shared some of Yamaha's results from the 2010 boating season.

“This year the industry as a whole is down two percent but Yamaha dealers are up nine percent within the same period,” said Layzell of outboard sales measured from September 2009 to August 2010. “Our dealers are doing very well on the marketplace. It's not limited to one province. It's everything from Vancouver Island all the way across the country. We are up in virtually every single province in the country.”

Layzell acknowledged that the biggest challenge for the outboard market this year was product availability, especially when it came to outboards from 75 horsepower and higher. However, he was pleased to report that dealer inventory levels are improved. “We've lowered our dealers inventory by 13 percent from 12 months ago,” he said. “This is a much better position for our dealers. They have approximately 4,800 engines going into winter, encompassing everything from 2.5 to 350 horsepower.”

Layzell revealed that Yamaha would be in the two-stoke engine market for calendar 2011, although, more than 80 percent of its outboards are now four-stroke.

Shifting to personal watercraft, Layzell reports Yamaha's market share is nearly up to 19 percent in Canada. “We have a very realistic, achievable and profitable goal of where we want our company to go with this product line,” he said.

Both of Yamaha's new PWC models for 2011 are three-passenger units, and there's a reason for that. According to Layzell, single and double passenger PWCs represent a very small amount of sales compared to the 93 percent of market share that three-passenger units account for in Canada. “Were leaving this season with about 350 boats in the pipeline and inventory is down by approximately 48 percent.”