Mumbai: Two wheeler maker Yamaha today said it has roped in Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone as brand ambassador for its yet to be launched scooter in India, seeking to replicate rival Honda’s success in the segment.
Yamaha Motor had earlier announced it would launch its scooter Ray, targeted at young women, in September.
“We expect a quarter of our overall sales to come from the scooter segment by December 2013,” India Yamaha Motor managing director and chief executive Hiroyuki Suzuki told reporters after signing in Padukone as a brand ambassador for the new scooter.
The company is targeting the 16-24 age group girls to push sales of Ray in the domestic market, he said adding Padukone’s choice as brand ambassador is aimed at achieving this goal.
The development is interesting as the yesteryear category leader Bajaj had long ago quit the scooters space, citing changes in consumer demand, even when another Japanese player Honda Motorcycles has been rocking with scooter sales.
In fact, Honda, which last month unseated Bajaj as the No 2 two-wheeler maker, sells more scooters from its Activa range than the bikes.
At the January Auto Expo, Yamaha had announced its foray into the fast-growing automatic scooter segment. So far, the Japanese auto-maker has been selling only motorcycles in the country, ranging from the entry level to top-of-the-line bikes.
Suzuki said he is expecting a 21 percent growth in total volumes at over 4 lakh units this year, and targets around 2 million sales by 2016.