March 7 2008.

The Nikkei Business Daily has today reported that Yamaha is to 'upgrade' its motorcycle sales efforts in the U.S., introducing a dealership evaluation system and dividing the market into 10 regions.

Dealerships will be assessed across five categories, including customer satisfaction, customer follow-up and service. Customer satisfaction will carry the largest weight, with 125 out of a total 500 points. Those dealerships receiving 420 points or more will be financially rewarded. For instance, they may have store renewals and trips to seminars partly paid for by Yamaha.

Depending on their professional knowledge about motorcycles, dealerships with high scores can also obtain the title of specialist for cruiser motorcycles, sport motorbikes and outdoor vehicles. Yamaha plans by 2010 to classify 350 of its 1,500 U.S. dealerships as model stores with high scores, and designate about 70% of these dealerships as specialists.

Yamaha will also introduce area-specific marketing, authorizing each of the newly divided regions to devise a marketing strategy tailored to local demand. Previously, the same marketing strategy was used for almost the entire market. 

UK Yamaha delaers will be interested in keeping an eye on this one...