Yamaha Motor plans to make and sell small cars in Europe starting around 2019, President Hiroyuki Yanagi told the Nikkei Thursday.
The world’s second-biggest motorbike maker will invest tens of billions of yen to set up a plant for two-seater automobiles.
Yamaha will offer urban cars for short-distance driving as demand for efficient compacts grows worldwide. The company intends to tap its bike expertise to develop an agile subcompact. “As the auto market grows more diverse, we see business opportunities,” Yanagi said.
The company chose Europe as the first market because of suitable city planning. It has yet to decide the proposed plant’s location and output capacity.
The car will come in gasoline and electric versions. Yamaha will build 1-liter engines to be developed in-house while buying motors and batteries for the electric vehicles.