Mar. 10, 2008 – Yamaha ’07: Up vs. rest of industry

Yamaha’s U.S. ATV and motorcycle sales fell in 2007, although both segments fared slightly better than the industry as a whole.
That was among the findings from the manufacturer’s recently released 2007 financial report, which also showed its side-by-side sales continued to grow.
The report, released Feb. 5, revealed the company’s ATV sales of 134,000 units in the United States slipped 10 percent from the previous year. The industry as a whole was down nearly 15 percent, according to Motorcycle Industry Council data.
Yamaha’s United States motorcycle sales of 167,000 in 2007 marked a 6 percent decline from the previous year. However, that’s still slightly better than the industry as a whole, which was down 7.2 percent.
One notable area of gain for Yamaha was in its Rhino sales, which accounted for 42,000 new unit sales in 2007. That’s a 7.6 percent gain from the previous year. Side-by-side sales have grown for the past four years for Yamaha, although the 2007 gain is substantially lower than in past years. In 2006, for instance, Yamaha’s sale of 39,000 side-by-sides in the United States was more than a 60 percent gain over the previous year.
The company as a whole reported record sales, which increased 11 percent over the prior year. Net income decreased 7.8 percent to 71.2 billion yen ($663 million).
Yamaha’s overall motorcycle sales rose 15.5 percent compared to a year ago thanks in part to increased sales in Indonesia, Vietnam and Brazil.
In the United States, the company said its sales of sport bikes and cruisers were essentially flat compared to last year while its off-road sales decreased. The latter decline was felt across the industry as off-road sales fell 17 percent compared to 2006, the MIC reported.
Across North America, Yamaha’s motorcycle sales fell nearly 5 percent to 197,000. It’s the second straight year that segment has declined, and Yamaha is not expecting a rebound for North America this year. Yamaha’s forecast looks for sales to slide another 16 percent to 165,000 in 2008.
Yamaha, however, does expect its sales in Europe, which rose slightly last year, to increase 6 percent to 435,000 in 2008.
Yamaha’s marine division sales rose nearly 9 percent as the company reported increased PWC sales in the United States.
The manufacturer reported an increase in research and development expenses, totaling more than $71 million, and hikes in raw material prices, costing more than $41.5 million, impacted operating income.
Looking forward, Yamaha expects 2008 to become the company’s 10th consecutive year of record sales. However, Yamaha does expect its operating income and net income to decrease this year. psb

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