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February 22, 2016

Gotta Be Quick

We spent most of last week preparing for our upcoming new product launch. Our strategy is simple – select a few dealers we know and trust that are well respected for their experience and credibility. Assemble them together with a film production crew and some prototypes to experience the new machines, talk about what they discovered and capture it all to share on the big day. It was a lot of fun watching the reactions to the new sleds from the initial walk around to the interviews at the end of the test track. Needless to say, some were more surprised than others but all were smiling without exception.

IMG_8140We had dealers from Norway, Finland, Sweden, Canada and the US. I really enjoyed the time spent after the work was done, chatting about the various markets and snowmobile lifestyles. There were lots of interesting nuggets exchanged over some  locally brewed IPA. It was a short event with everyone in and out within 48 hours. I stayed back to meet up with an old friend to do some additional filming and tech briefing which will hopefully be part of the MY17 preview on SnowTrax TV. Mark had a pretty good grasp on what our new sleds were all about but I think I was able to surprise him on a couple of points.

Our next step is to bring in all our field staff from across Canada which is happening as I write this. The initial plan is to make some time for everyone to pull the trigger on the prototypes between meetings and training sessions. That said, I need to get up to the test site as soon as I post this to see whats left after a freak rainstorm took out most of our trails on Saturday. My fear is what little is left maybe reduced to a skating rink. This is the most depressing, un-cooperative winter I can remember in southern Ontario…

While all this is going on, our big rigs are rolling into West Yellowstone for the annual media Snow Shoot where all four manufactures get with the sled journalists to get briefed on all the new offerings. I am not sure at this time if I am required to head down there. We have had to shuffle the deck a bit with respect to staffing and I am still waiting to find out if I am heading north or west. And on that note, I gotta get my butt in gear, shut down and hit the road.


cheers cr

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Posted @ 10:47 am in Yamaha Insights   

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9 Responses to “Gotta Be Quick”

  1. Greg says:

    Hey Chris,
    There is always a lot to be done during this time but the Yamaha crew always pulls together to get it done. Remember – it takes a village to launch a snowmobile model line (or in this case, a worldwide group of dedicated people). With everyone pulling together, it will happen on March 1.

    I trust the new models will be well-developed to meet targeted key markets, then Totally Yamaha will blow up about what was [not] offered … that is the nature of this customer base and why we love it.

  2. Steve Roberts says:

    I’m sure there is a confidence that keeps the team running . There is always the dis gruntled loud and center staging at any function….you just have to look over their heads and keep on keepin on.
    Good luck with the weather, it most certainly has been a frustrating season on that front to ,say the least.
    Hopefully March brings some riding opurtunities in southeastern Ont Yamaha product launch is always a hot topic on the net, lashing or loving ,who knows what the fickle fate of consumer reception will be.
    I wonder how the introduction of hydraulic drives, free air engines and experimental race sleds with realiability issues ,lack of performance and repeat failures was handled . Can you imagine if you had the instant peanut gallery ,fire hose feedback of the modern internet back then….
    Shows how spoiled and demanding a society we have become

  3. Mr T. says:

    I guess it was good thing that all in attendance were smiling without exception!

  4. Tyler says:

    Time to move that test site north to Sault Ste. Marie I think! Even in a bad year we still manage to get by up here! 😉

    Counting down the days to March 1st!
    Good to hear there were lots of smiles at the testing session!

  5. Snogasm says:

    Sounds like Yamaha and cat putting the new R1 motor in the pro cross chassis. 180+ horsepower naturally aspirated! That gets me pumped just thinking about it.

  6. Wayne says:

    Very well said Greg and Steve Roberts !
    ..well said indeed.

  7. VTM says:

    New ‘Viper’ with new plastic and details. Same chassi more or less. YXZ (with lower rpm) engine with stock turbo 180hp. Viper engine (1049cc) will remain as the 600 2stroke class at 130hp. This engine is also to be seen in some 2017 Waverunners. To bad this engine has bad rods, but Yamaha dont care. The word will get around and the reputation will hurt in the long term.

  8. Anthony says:

    HI Chris,
    You must be busy right now as we are approaching the release date. I hope there is something big coming out. Specially after seeing BRP upgraded platform and new engine. Can’t wait to see what March 1st will bring.
    on another subject, an interesting post would be to explain how a new snowmobile is brought to the market from scratch. Drawing table to market release. Things like prototype, patent, test drive, etc. I understand it is a long process but could be done on few posts. Like part 1,2,3.

    Good luck for the D-Day


  9. TK says:

    Good luck tomorrow! I hope you will get me to trade my poo 🙂

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