Yamaha to exit snowmobile market

Yamaha will further pare down its activities by exiting the snowmobile market in the coming years. The brand clarified that, while snowmobile manufacturing for all global markets including the United States will soon end, it will continue to provide parts and service for several years.

The news comes as a surprise, because the Japanese company unveiled its 2024 range of snowmobiles a few months before announcing its decision to leave the segment. Its exit plan includes three main phases: sales in Japan

will end after the 2022 model year, sales in Europe will end after the 2024 model year, and sales in North America will end after the 2025 model year. More specific details aren’t available.

Similarly, the reasons behind Yamaha’s decision to leave the snowmobile segment that it has competed in since 1968 are murky at best. The firm published a short statement that merely explains “it will be difficult to continue a sustainable business in the snowmobile market.” Sales of new snowmobiles in the United States and Canada have rema ined relatively steady

over the past decade, but they’ve declined in several overseas markets due largely to a drop in the Russian market. Despite this, Yamaha’s snowmobile sales grew by a whopping 22% in 2020.

“Going forward, Yamaha will concentrate management resources on current business activities and new growth markets,” the brand wrote in a statement. It added that it expects exiting the snowmobile market will have a “minor” effect on its consolidated business results. 

The news comes about four years after Yamaha left the automotive industry

, but that doesn’t mean the company will stop completely stop making vehicles. It still builds motorcycles and scooters, and in 2020 it announced plans to develop a range of turbocharged motorcycle engines
. More recently, it developed a low-speed stabilization technology that allows motorcycles to move at a crawl without falling over.

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