In traditional Yamaha fashion, the company has announced a move that may finally allow it to stake a claim as the first "big player" in the breakout electric motorcycle category. By putting the For Sale sign on 63.25 million corporate stock shares, the tuning fork company hopes to raise an impressive 812 million dollars that it will dedicate to a highly charged electric and hybrid engine development plan across both their two-wheeled (motorcycle and electric bicycle) and aquatic (boat and outboard motor) product lines. We have seen many concepts and indications of Yamaha's intent, but very little follow through until now.
The plan seems to be part of a healing process following 2009 in which the company posted losses north of $2.3 billion. Yes folks, we said billion... ouch! Yamaha, a company that traditionally has been eager to carve its own path in the powersports segment, hopes new fuel efficient and electric designs will lead to increased popularity in developing markets that have an ever-growing importance to manufacturers industry wide. We are left holding our breaths as to when these developments will make their way into the U.S. That will, no doubt, be largely dependent upon our buying trends. In addition, the company has pledged to make all of its offerings more competitive throughout its lineup.
Most importantly, this means we will see some much needed diversity in the development of electric motorcycles. This from the company that brought us the fist modern four-stroke motocross bikes, as well as snowmobiles. We will eagerly look forward to Yamaha's new offerings, and the following jolt that it could mean for the company as a whole. Now, to figure out how to commute in the bicycle lane on our shiny new Yamaha electric motorcycle.