2014 Yamaha Snowmobiles: 5 Quotes From Yamaha Executives Lend Perspective

By John Prusak
February 22, 2013
Filed under Snowmobile News, Yamaha

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The unveiling of 2014 Yamaha snowmobiles that will be built by Arctic Cat in Minnesota utilizing many Arctic Cat components (including the base chassis) has caused quite a stir this week in the snowmobile community. Whether it’s on social media, snowmobile site message boards or during pitstop conversations on snowmobile trips, many people seem to have an opinion on what this all means.

Even more people, however, seem to have more questions than answers.

To help shed some light, for this week’s Friday Fast Five here on SnowGoer.com, we offer five quotes we heard at the Yamaha North American Dealer Meeting held Wednesday, January 20, in Minneapolis.

At the meeting, Yamaha had corporate executives and engineers from its U.S., Canadian and Japanese headquarters taking turns at the podium, trying to frame this information for the company’s most direct snowmobile customers: its dealers.

To those dealers, Yamaha officials talked about growing the staff at the North American testing and development center in Wisconsin, designing multiple new engines and chassis platforms and promising to grow Yamaha’s market share in the snowmobile business. But for now, we’ll get out of the way and let you read it exactly as it was stated to the dealers.

 

  1. Senior Executive Officer & Director of Yamaha Motor Company Japan Mr. Masahiro Takizawa: “Right now, I want to state clearly that Yamaha Motor Corporation is absolutely committed to the long-term snowmobile business in North America and to you, our business partners. Beginning with the 2014 model year, we are embarking on a new strategy, one that is breaking out of our old norm, and one that will make us more competitive in the near term and will ensure a strong future in the industry.”

    Yamaha's Masahiro Takizawa

    Yamaha’s Masahiro Takizawa

  2. President of Yamaha North American Toshi Kato: “I’m very pleased to announce at this time that we are making a significant investment in the U.S. and Canada … We have also put in place new dedicated engineering and production resources for the North American snowmobile dealers by adding staff to our Minocqua [Wisconsin] facility. This will enable us to be closer to our two largest [snowmobile] markets and respond more rapidly to market demand and to continue to produce products beyond our customers’ expectations. Our new focus is on the largest and most profitable segments of the market. This is just the beginning of how we are doing that. Our North American team will continue to design and deliver new products for all segments of the market as we look forward to our 50th Anniversary that will take place in 2018.”
  3. Vice President of Yamaha Motor Canada & North American Snowmobile Leader Peter Smallman-Tew: “Today’s a very major turning point for Yamaha snowmobiles. In five short years we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in snowmobiling. During that time, we’ve been innovators, we’ve been leaders, and lately things have been challenging, and we know that. … The North American snowmobile team has a very serious message, and we have a very serious mission. That mission is to reassure Yamaha as a force to be reckoned with in the snowmobile industry and let me tell you we will fight with everything we have to take back our fair share of the market. So how are we going to do that? We’re going to start with a long-term plan and a short-term plan. It all comes from what Mr. Kato said, Mr. Kato created the North American team and this team has a commitment, a commitment to engineering, a commitment to product development through our Minocqua plant, our mission in Minocqua is to develop a new snowmobile each year for the next five years. Partnering with YMC Japan, development is already underway on state-of-the-art four-stroke high-technology snowmobile engines, which will take us into a completely new dimension of performance, and new sled platforms. And did I mention that was engines, plural?”
  4. Peter Smallman Tew: “We’ve entered into a supply agreement with Arctic Cat, combining the best parts of each other’s DNA. We build the best four-stroke engines in the snowmobile industry bar none, they build arguably some of the best lightweight chassis in the market. Put the two things together and you have one heck of a snowmobile. Let me be very clear here. This is not a merger. They’re two totally separate companies; this is a mutually beneficial supply agreement. Two separate companies. Two independent product development teams, sales and marketing, dealer organizations – completely separate. Next, any product that bears the name Yamaha meets Yamaha’s quality, dependability, reliability [QDR]. Let’s just say that right up front. No matter where it’s built, what product, anywhere in the world, it must meet our QDR and that is the most essential part of Yamaha’s DNA.”

    Peter Smallman-Tew

    Peter Smallman-Tew

  5. Peter Smallman-Tew: “We’re fully aware and we deeply respect the challenges that our western, mountain and utility markets are facing, but let me tell you this: our North American team puts us in a much stronger position to develop products for all market segments going further, and like I said earlier, we will be developing snowmobiles and engines in the next five years, each year … We are committed to be a leader in innovation, performance, quality and customer appeal. What you’re about to see is only a small portion of Yamaha’s long-term vision.”

Comments

6 Responses to “2014 Yamaha Snowmobiles: 5 Quotes From Yamaha Executives Lend Perspective”

  1. Rolfe O on February 23rd, 2013 9:07 am

    But they did not mention the most important aspect, a return to two-strokes. They must not be serious about snowmobiles.

  2. Ed on February 23rd, 2013 4:21 pm

    This is a huge win for AC, there doesn’t seem to be a benefit for Yamaha. This Yamaha loyalist is very disappointed, it would appear Yamaha is exiting the snowmo business & the spin from Yamaha isn’t convincing.

  3. Todd on February 23rd, 2013 11:34 pm

    Peter Smallman-Tew: “We’re fully aware and we deeply respect the challenges that our western, mountain and utility markets are facing..”

    If this was true Yamaha would have gave us Western riders a Viper MTN as a stop gap why not? Every year we hear next year next year we cant wait five year for a sled that will 10 year old by that time.

  4. dave on February 24th, 2013 4:41 pm

    The cooperation of Arctic Cat and Yamaha for a completely new snowmobile has been a long time coming. To me, the SR Viper looks to be a blast to ride with the combination of a great frame and an awesome engine. Plus with all the patents flying around every year for a better snowmobile, it was inevitable that two manufacturs would join up to not only change the sport but to be more profitable instead of spending money on royalties.

  5. james marc cantlin on April 26th, 2013 3:15 pm

    2014 going to be a fun year on my new viper but yamaha has got my mind going and I cant wate for 2015 or 2016 , to see whats new . I think I will be trading ever two years for the next 6 years , hate to wish the years away but cant wate to see whats up because I no it,s all going to be good !!

  6. Dave Schultz on June 15th, 2013 10:55 am

    If Yamaha wants the best engineering. Pay and hire the best engineers. Start with guys in the racing industry who day in, day out , build and repair the sleds that compete. I’m sure there is a wealth of knowledge there.

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