Boating Industry

April 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 30 of 43

April 2016 | Boating Industry | 31 /// Market Trends /// 2015 PWC MARKETSHARE A MORE INTUITIVE RIDE FROM YAMAHA Yamaha added the WaveRunner V1, V Sport, VX, VX Deluxe and VX Cruiser to its Versatility line, which is targeted at entry-level buyers, in 2016. All of these models, as well as the Per- formance and Luxury models, come with Yamaha's RIDE Technology, which is a dual throttle handlebar control system that allows users to accelerate or decelerate using specific right and left levers for those functions. "What you're able to do is, when you're coming off a unit, there's no shifting or anything. You've got two dual throttles that you can work in symmetry. That allows all riders of any level to easily maneuver around docks, trailers, tight spaces, the ability to spin," said Seti. "It's extremely intuitive." The RIDE technology has precise slow speed maneuverability because the thrust on the reverse bucket goes sideways, not up and down. "By going sideways, you're able to push the rear of the unit left and right when you're trying to get into tight quarters, or coming off a trailer or being around a dock," said Seti. "It's different than other [companies] that have the thrust going up in the air, because if you go up in the air you're going to actually nosedive when you slow down. So it's really an ingenious process." Another new product for 2016 is the TR-1 High Alpha 3-cylinder Yamaha marine engine, which is also included on the Versatility products. The engine, which won an innovation award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association at the Miami International Boat Show, is 40 percent smaller, 20 percent lighter and 13 percent more powerful. "It really gives the consumer a better product on the water," said Seti. "It's pretty amaz- ing we have this TR-1 engine at our entry-level price point, but we put time and energy into that to make sure that customer has an amazing experience, because we know that it will translate to them moving up in the years to come." In creating the engine, Yamaha put the engine into an entry-level product, so the com- pany was able to focus more on the stability and features of the engine. "We wanted to have a product that was going to appeal to a younger audience. A younger audience typically does not ride with three up," said Seti, "but it allows it to create a more nimble, agile product, which is what the first-time buyer is really into, because they are typically younger and don't have a family." Sea-Doo 54% Yamaha 39% Kawasaki 7% 2015 * Data contains 40 states – approximately 81 percent of the U.S. boat market through December 2015 Source: Statistical Surveys, Inc. models designed to provide maximum comfort for all-day riders. The seat, created with a partner vendor, is made with a material that keeps cool in the sun. "It makes a big difference when you're in the sun all day. The black material on a lot of these machines gets very hot. This [fabric] dissipates the heat very well," said Dave Oventhal, senior manager, corporate research & market analysis, market & product strategy of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. "It's got a very ergonomic design for the passengers and the driver." Kawasaki's five-way tilt adjustment, also included on all Ultra 310 models, was created for comfortable all-day driving and can be read- justed based on the driver's height. "You have a lot more adjustability and you're able to really make the machine much closer to the best position that you want," said Oventhal. Style also attracts customers to the personal watercraft segment. The Spark changed its color offerings for the 2016 model year in order to stay trendy, as the customer buying these products are looking for something "fashionable" in addi- tion to its ability to perform. "Spark is a dynamic vehicle, it's a young ve- hicle and being trendy is critical," said Lévesque. "You can be trendy in many different ways, but the type of colors we are picking are all around [the idea of] fun." Yamaha focused its efforts in creating the TR-1 engine to ensure the product is reliable and affordable.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Boating Industry - April 2016