Yamaha Motorcycle Sales Down 12.8% for 2012

02/25/2013 @ 1:28 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS


While for the most part 2012 was a growth year for the motorcycle industry, not all of the OEMs faired the storm equally. Posting a 5.4% sales loss in 2012 compared to 2011, Yamaha also saw a massive decrease in net profits last year.

Generating ¥1,276 billion 2011, Yamaha saw a 5.4% decrease in revenues, with sales totaling ¥1,207 billion in 2012. While units sales and sales revenue were down only a modest amount, net income was down a massive 72.2%, ¥7.5 billion (2012) vs. ¥27 billion (2011).

Breaking things down by market, North America accounted for 71,000 tw0-wheeler sales in 2012, which was a 9.8% increase from 64,000 units Yamaha sold in 2011. This sales boost helped Yamaha make a 14.4% net sales gain in the US, with ¥41.6 billion in sales revenue.

The gains in US motorcycles sales were lost globally though, with Yamaha unit sales collectively dropping 12.8% worldwide. Leading the decrease were sales in the European Union, which continues to struggle economically. Sales also dipped in the emerging markets, like Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam, which Yamaha also attributes to the economic difficulties from the EU and USA.

India and Thailand were the only major emerging market to buck the trend in 2012, though part of that analysis has to take into account that Thailand was literally underwater for parts of 2011.

Source: Yamaha (PDF)

  • ted smart

    Yamaha refuses to sell their 125 or any suitable learner in Canada ensuring a new generation of riders will skip their marquee as a 1st purchase. The CBR125 is Honda’s best selling machine here and I suspect the new CB500 series will clinch it those riders choices for 2nd bike as well.

  • L2C

    Ya think they’re happy to have the illustrious Valentino Rossi back within their ranks?

  • Andrew

    I think that Rossi isn’t going to make a lot of difference to Yamaha’s sales until they start producing motorcycles that their customers want. BMW had very good year despite their complete absence from MotoGP, and Ducati had actually very strong year as well, despite Rossi’s performance on their machines which was anything but illustrious. In short, Rossi might be a charismatic rider but he is not a miracle worker – if you think that Rossi alone can reverse Yamaha’s fortunes, you are dreaming.

  • BBQdog

    Seems like Yamaha is loosing it in the emerging 250cc class. No alternative to the Ninja 250 or the CBR 250 R.

  • smiler

    Each Japanese company seems to have produced 1 or 2 great bikes through modern history. Honda the RC30 & Blade, Suzuki the GSXR 1000 (recent) and the R1. Other than that they seem unwilling to be adventurous and better at copying other established names. They upstaged the Bonny, made reliable cruiers, eventually decent sports bikes.
    There seems to be little innovation & trying to access new markets for the Japanese. Triumph, BMW, Ducati, KTM & Aprilia are all nibbling market share from the Japanese. Their usual advantage with quality now fading into the background. Even Ducati now have similar service intervals to the fast Jap bikes.
    To be honest after 30 years of domination, happy to see the Japanese (no offense to Japan) not doing that well. The offerings of the companies above are just better, more interesting & priced accordingly.
    About time the Europeans got their act together and they have. Even MV seem to have got the point now that to survive they need to sell bikes.

  • aditya

    “There seems to be little innovation & trying to access new markets for the Japanese.”

    last i checked, the japanese (Well to be precise, yamaha and honda more or less exclusively) were the only ones really giving a damn about making and selling quality but affordable motorcycles in the new emerging markets (india, southeast asia and south america)..and i am not talking merely about simple commuter bikes for the local people that cant afford a CBR or a YZF-R…i mean smaller capacity versions of their flagship series (YZF-Rs, FZs, fazers, CBRs, CBFs) or related…none of the european companies except KTM (duke 200) have anything for these markets so far, except their ultra-costly 600s or 1000s that are really unsuitable for these markets..

    the japanese(yamaha and honda only. kawasaki and suzuki are comparatively non-existent in the smaller cc markets as well) havent been concentrating on the european market anymore, hence the lack of updated R1, R6 or CBR1000..they seem to be concentrating much more so somewhere else where the europeans effectively havent even arrived in any proper form.

  • aditya

    the european companies have been nibbling the market share from the japanese only in europe (and maybe a little bit in north america?). not so much anywhere else really. and those “anywhere else” places are where most bikes get sold increasingly every year… for once it’s good the european manufacturers are able to overshadow the japanese more so than ever in their own markets.

  • L2C


    It was question not a statement, nor was it serious. But since you brought it up, you’re delusional if you think that Rossi won’t have a positive impact on the fortunes of Yamaha. Notwithstanding bitterness over past events – it’s a good thing that Yamaha favors a healthier approach to racing and marketing matters.