It was announced this week that Japanese giants and long time competitors Honda and Yamaha will share resources and produce machines together. Their rivalry has been fierce since the early 1980’s as both vied for the top spot in the domestic and international marketplace.
As of 2018, Honda will produce 50cc machines for Yamaha at its plant in Southern Japan. It might only be domestic 50cc machines now, but this collaboration may well develop into something that suits larger machines and the international market down the line.
Though both companies will continue to market their machines separately, they’re in agreement that combining forces in order to combat the decline in sales makes complete sense. The Japanese scooter market is cutthroat. In 1995, 1.2 million units sold in the 50cc sector, in 2015 it was down to ‘just’ 325,000.
“Business in this sector is very difficult for both manufacturers, partnering will have merits for both parties” said Honda’s operating officer Shinji Aoyama.
“Having Honda manufacture models on licence would likely be more cost effective than the current operation of producing in Taiwan and then exporting them back home”, said Katsuaki Watanabe, Yamaha’s managing executive officer. He then went on to say that “There’s absolutely no bad feeling or ill will left over from the early 1980’s”.
It is expected that Honda and Yamaha will also collaborate on electric scooter projects.