Yamaha Quits Making Snowmobiles After 50+ Years
Yamaha announced today it is leaving the snowmobile market after 57 years in the snow segment. It has already stopped snowmobile sales in Japan. It will continue its withdrawal from Europe in 2024 and here in the U.S. in 2025. “Going forward, Yamaha will concentrate management resources on current business activities and new growth markets,” its press release said.
“We’ve been trying everything we can from a North American snowmobile team perspective to make sure this business can stay within our portfolio,” said Jaret Smith, Yamaha’s snowmobile product manager, in a teleconference from Ottawa, Ontario. “We’ve been working very hard over the last few years here, trying to ensure we have something viable. We did everything we could to try to save this business.”
Who makes snowmobiles now?
With Yamaha out of the snowmobile market, it leaves just three manufacturers: Arctic Cat in Minneapolis, Minnesota, BRP in Quebec, and Polaris Industries in Medina, Minnesota. BRP’s Ski-Doo is by far the most popular snowmobile brand in the U.S.
“The first and biggest question is why is Yamaha exiting the snowmobile market,” said Bryan Hudgin, Yamaha Canada’s director of marketing & brand development. “We regretfully made this decision to focus on higher-volume product groups and increase investment in identified growth markets.”
Will Yamaha still provide snowmobile parts and service?
Yamaha sees limited growth in the snowmobile market and has a relatively small slice of that market. Interestingly, the decision may have partially been influenced by Russia. According to Snowgoer, Yamaha was the dominant brand there. With Russian sanctions and poor economic conditions there, snowmobile sales are nonexistent.
Almost all of Yamaha’s 2024 models are already built. So those who have ordered one will not see any problems or delays. The company assures customers that snowmobile parts, service, and warranty services will continue. There are over 500 Yamaha snowmobile dealers across the globe.
What other products does Yamaha make now?
Though snowmobile sales will cease, these dealers still have many products from Yamaha’s side-by-side marine, motorcycle, and ebike lines. And Yamaha is already helping dealers navigate through the loss of snowmobile sales. “It’s a bit of a shock, but the nice thing about Yamaha is that there are nine different product lines that we can all sort of start to divert resources to and make sure we’re giving those the proper attention they deserve,” Hudgin said.
The company’s official announcement says, “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.”