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October 11, 2013

Keepin it Simple… NOT

jet lagBeen home over a week now and the jet-lag is about gone. It was smoking hot in Japan and a typhoon lingering at sea, kept things breezy and really humid. The snowmobile meetings went quite well but the agenda was unusual. I finished up the week attending some ATV / ROV planning sessions, but we’re here to talk sleds. I wasn’t there to work on any project specifically. It was more of an information /strategic session to clarify the roles and process of planning both at factory and in the market. I have been elected to represent snowmobile planning for North America as one entity, uniting Canada and the USA with one ‘voice’. We have some really good people involved in both companies and I am looking forward to seeing our snowmobile business evolve without borders.

I was writing my report in the hotel when I pondered the old marketing rule on the role of the ‘4-P’s’ – the fundamentals required to sell: Price / Place / Product / Promotion. The lesson: Get them right and success will follow.

My how things have changed since college. If I was teaching marketing 101 to prepare students for the new world, I would be dearly tempted to coin the 4-P’s in the modern application as Policies – Procedures – Politics – Permissions! That little epiphany had me laughing out loud at my own wit. But to the point, nothing is simple any more. I know many of you wonder why we don’t just do the obvious when it comes to new model development. I think you would be blown away if you knew how complicated things become when put in the context of the new P’s. It is not as easy as you may think!

We hosted meetings here in Toronto this past week with our North American team; Cypress, Pleasant Prairie, Minocqua and Ontario all present. Our direction for snowmobile is quite clear all the way out to 2017 and it’s exciting to feel the synergies coming together within our new North American organization.

The fall trade shows are upon us with the Toronto Super Show in another week, followed closely by Novi Michigan at months end. I plan on  hanging around the Yamaha booth to chat about all things snowmobile with a watchful eye on the Performance Damper Yamaha Performance Damper FINAL display. That said, I’ll most welcome any opportunities to do market research in the adult libations area in an effort to preserve both my back and voice. Hope to see you there!

cheers cr

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8 Responses to “Keepin it Simple… NOT”

  1. Craig B says:

    Well I’m sold on a PD set for my 2012 Vector after downloading and reading the Word doc in your post. Who wouldn’t want better performance? As long as the value on sleds far out weighs the price(I assume it will since you a for it Chris). I can hear others saying “what’s that? someone mounted that shock on your rear grab bar, LOL!” not understanding the substantial benefits that dampening the “bad vibes” can affect overall performance… and mpg. Hence, creating “good vibes” :-). If mainstream Auto manufacturers are jumping onboard with the technology, it’s got to be a winner! Vespel slides and the Tuner ski’s have surely helped why not Performance dampers on our high mileage capable sleds. Sure goes against the few season disposable sled syndrome. Thanks!

  2. DNR says:

    I’ll share your elation with the north American organization coming together. It’s great to see you at the helm as this unity begins fruition. Now about that chat in a relaxing atmosphere, I’d be happy to once again to fly in and lend an ear. Let’s see how the schedule here unfolds. Cheers.

  3. Low Slung says:

    Pretty certain by the model year 2017 yamahas sled lineup will be all arctic cat clones powered by Yamaha engines or it won,t exist at all(just an engine supplier to cat).I think this plan really doesn,t help the future in which the market next door to japan(Russia)gets bigger and bigger while north americans market is shrinking.Building sleds for Russia would be cheaper to ship from japan then across a ocean?But if this is a means to an end so be it,like you said earlier this year the alternative would be much worse(makes me smile to know the new Viper is pretty much the same weight as the Nytro).While I got your attention Chris I have a few questions,Can I use yamahas EFI storage oil in my 700 Raptor/Phazer RTX when I mothball them?(raptor going to sleep this winter,to much wheel spin last winter)Bottles instructions are for outboards?And on a different subject will the Carb YFZ450 be back for 2014?Seems its not listed for 2014(was it just a parts bin special to burn up leftover stock).This is a great quad(my brothers full ohlins version is fun but I won,t trade my raptor 700 just yet).

    No problem using the OB storage oil-spray in other products, don’t forget the fuel stabilizer as well. Its very important now with the crap E-fuel we are forced to burn. cr

  4. John says:

    Glad to hear you will be at the Toronto show.Will any production Vipers be on display?When my Viper LTX comes in I will be happy happy happy.

  5. Gary says:

    Congrats on being the ‘voice’ on North American snowmobile planning. With your experience, knowledge, all the polls that you have conducted over the years and all of the info discussed on TY forums, I’m sure you’ll get the message across to the powers that be on what us riders want.

    I found your analogy interesting regarding the 4 P’s and how difficult/frustrating it is pushing things through. Yamaha needs to get beyond this and catch up to the other OEMs, not slow down.

    I truly hope that the SR Viper is a great success. I hope it sells through the inventory, maybe even outsell the rest of the lineup combined and make it impossible to get one mid season. I hope it handles great and lives up to its potential and has the QDR that Yamaha wants to be known for. Then, more riders will want one for next year and the Bigshots overseas, with their old school views, will see that if they take a risk at developing a product, success will follow.

  6. snoguzzler says:

    I plan to be at the show and would love to see how the dampers work and more importantly help you with “market research” while enjoying a beverage in the beer gardens!!

  7. Yellowknife says:

    Someone knows what they’re doing making you the voice of NA! Great stuff – but now you’ll be even busier. I’m available for hire as your assistant anytime. lol


  8. Steve McCaughey says:

    Quietest lead-up to the Toronto Show (on Sled Talk and TY) in memory. I believe the media refers to it as a lack of “buzz”. Here’s hoping for abundant snowfall and record sled sales and this perceived lull is just the calm before the storm!I’m the least enthused about attending this years’ show as I’ve ever been. For the first time in over a quarter century there does not appear to be anything new that I can’t wait to see. A lack of “latest and greatest” coupled with increased prices for just about everything (parts, accommodations, trailers etc.) is a “buzz-killer” for most.

    hmmmm, quite an interesting comment. In hindsight, our booth and the show in general appeared quite busy. Waiting for the reports and staff feedback on sales activity, attendance etc. I do hear you on the lack of ‘new’, at least in the way og game changers… thx cr

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