Yamaha Motor Corporation has announced their intent to exit the snowmobile industry. Their 2025 model year will be the last for North America, with the upcoming 2024 model year to be the last for the European market. Yamaha previously stopped selling snowmobiles in Japan and Russia in 2022.
Yamaha representatives spelled it out plain and simple – the snowmobile market is quite small and not one of growth when compared to other markets they’re engaged in. It is strictly a business decision to place their resources and efforts into worldwide growth markets that will provide a better return on their investment.
Yamaha indicates it looks forward to having a celebration of their snowmobile heritage with their customers and fans during the next two years. The 2025 model year will be a full line offering and is expected to be in high demand as collector’s editions during the final year of production.
All new models ordered during the Spring Power Surge are expected to be delivered on time this summer and fall. Yamaha will continue to provide parts and service resources for many years to come and will also continue to provide engines for the snowmobile industry as they have been.
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Here is the official announcement from Yamaha, and some Q&A material to help you better understand their decision and how they plan to move forward.
Yamaha Motor Announces Eventual Withdrawal from Snowmobile Business
IWATA, June 28, 2023 — Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. today announces plans for an eventual withdrawal of the snowmobile business. The 2024 model year will be the final for available production in the European market, while North America’s final production will be the 2025 model year.
1. History of the Business and Reasons for Withdrawal
In 1968, Yamaha released its first snowmobile, the SL350, by applying small engine technology which it developed in the motorcycle business. Over the past 55 years, Yamaha developed snowmobiles for sports, leisure, and business use as a means of transportation mainly in snowy areas found in North America and Europe. Yamaha also aimed to grow the business through the early introduction of environmentally-friendly 4-stroke models and alliances with other companies. However, Yamaha has concluded it will be difficult to continue a sustainable business in the snowmobile market. Going forward, Yamaha will concentrate management resources on current business activities and new growth markets.
2. Future Actions
Yamaha will ensure parts availability, service, and related customer satisfaction now and after the snowmobile final production run occurs.
Production of the recently introduced 2024 models is underway and scheduled for fall delivery. Yamaha distributors will be working closely with dealers to minimize impact and best position their business over the next 12 – 36 months.
3. Impact on Business Performance
Due to the exit schedule outlined above, the effect on consolidated business results will be minor.
Yamaha snowmobile dealers and customers throughout the world have proven to be among the most passionate. Yamaha thanks and cherishes all for their years of loyalty and shared enjoyment of this special winter pastime.
Please see below for information concerning Yamaha Motor Co, Ltd.’s eventual withdrawal from the snowmobile market.
Why is Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd Japan (YMC), exiting the snowmobile market?
After careful consideration, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. regretfully made the business decision to focus on higher volume product groups and increase investment in identified growth markets.
How long will Yamaha Motor continue selling snowmobiles?
The 2025 model year will be the last year of Yamaha snowmobile sales in North America. The season will follow the traditional snowmobile schedule through the winter of 2024, at which point there will NOT be a 2026 model year or Spring Power Surge.
Where does a customer get their Yamaha snowmobile serviced?
Yamaha dealers will continue to provide service and parts for Yamaha snowmobiles.
How long will Yamaha supply parts for current or future year Yamaha snowmobiles?
Yamaha Motor is committed to an advanced parts procurement to supply customer demands for years to come.
What about existing deposits for Spring Power Surge?
There is no change to the 2024MY Spring Power Surge. 2024MY deliveries are scheduled to start in the fall of 2023.
How will Yamaha handle warranty fulfillment, either factory or extended?
Yamaha will honor all warranty for the entire term period which was agreed upon at time of purchase.
Will Yamaha ever get back into the snowmobile business?
With this decision, there are no future plans to return to the snowmobile business.
How is Yamaha supporting their dealers during this transition?
Each dealer’s business situation is unique. Yamaha will work with dealers to best position each dealer for continued success in the next 24 – 36 months while focusing on existing product groups and expansion of new opportunities.
How is Yamaha supporting their customers during this transition?
Yamaha’s direction is to continue offering sales, service, parts and warranty up to and including the 2025 model year line of snowmobiles. Current customers can expect the same level of customer support they have traditionally received.
Will Yamaha continue to offer industry support and attend snowmobile events and consumer shows?
Promotional activities are reviewed, planned and budgeted for annually. Yamaha will make decisions about support for these activities on an individual basis.
Yamaha’s 1969 SL-351 was their first snowmobile model offered in North America. It featured an air-cooled 2-cycle 350cc engine with Autolube oil injection. The 5-port cylinder design derived from motorcycle racing success featured two extra transfer ports for greater efficiency and combustion, producing 26 HP at 6,000 RPM. The SL-351 also featured a detachable padded seat, disc brakes, non-skid handle grips and foot rests, steel reinforced rubber track and reserve fuel container in the rear storage compartment.