The long-standing rumors have been confirmed. Yamaha snowmobiles will bid farewell to the market after the 2025 model year. This marks the end of a remarkable 57-year journey that commenced with the 1968 SL350. The brand’s legacy encompasses various models, including turbocharged Sidewinder four-strokes that came to dominate the lineup.
Among these were beloved names like Enticers, Exciters, Phazers, Vmaxes, and several generations of innovative SRX models. These machines have been instrumental in fulfilling the winter dreams of countless snowmobilers across the Snowbelt region.
However, this era is drawing to a close. Yamaha’s future direction, according to company representatives, will shift towards other business pursuits.
Yamaha Officials Statements
We’ve wholeheartedly strived within our North American snowmobile team to retain this business in our portfolio,” said Jaret Smith, Yamaha’s snowmobile product manager. “In recent years, we’ve invested significant effort to create a viable future and considered all avenues to salvage this venture.”
Most of the 2024 models, produced by Textron/Arctic Cat, won’t affect orders from customers and dealers for the upcoming winter. Bryan Hudgin, Yamaha Canada’s director of marketing, confirmed.
The full 2025 Yamaha lineup will be unveiled as planned next year, signaling the end of Yamaha snowmobiles in North America. In Europe, this conclusion will be sooner with the 2024 lineup.
The company assures customers and dealers that crucial services like parts, service, and warranty support will continue after the product phase-out.
Reasons to Exit the Snowmobile Market
Yamaha’s decision to exit the snowmobile market combines business, market, and strategic considerations. Following are some potential reasons for this decision.
1. Challenging Market
Yamaha’s choice to discontinue its snowmobile division stems from a range of factors. Foremost among these is the consistently low annual sales volume. On a global scale, the cumulative snowmobile sales across all manufacturers have hovered between 120,000 and 130,000 units since 2010.
2. Instant Drop in Russia
Additionally, the significant drop in snowmobile sales in Russia is another factor. Sales plummeted from approximately 30,000 in 2014 to zero in 2023, primarily due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Export halt since February 2022 further sealed this market’s closure. Yamaha’s VK 540s had been favored by Russian snowmobilers.
3. Global Warming
Global warming could have also influenced Yamaha Motor’s choice. The shrinking winter seasons, frequently accompanied by rain and reduced snow cover, are undeniable trends. These realities, acknowledged by both us and Yamaha’s leadership, might have contributed to their decision.
4. Resource Allocation
Yamaha may have decided to allocate resources towards other segments or industries where they see higher growth potential and a stronger strategic fit because the snowmobile market could have reached a point of saturation, where further growth is limited due to a mature customer base.
What about Yamaha Customers?
Yamaha is committed to maintaining parts availability, service, and overall customer satisfaction both in the present and following the conclusion of snowmobile production. The production of the newly introduced 2024 models is already in progress and slated for delivery in the upcoming fall.
Yamaha’s distributors will collaborate closely with dealers to mitigate any repercussions and optimize their business outlook over the next 12 to 36 months.
Yamaha Future Plans for Dealers
Yamaha dealers can anticipate the arrival of new product lines, exemplified by this year’s launch of electric bikes. While the full scope of Yamaha Motor’s shift remains unclear, the significant advancements in all-electric, hybrid, and hydrogen propulsion offer genuine possibilities.
In the coming years, we might witness electric motorcycles or ATVs, hybrid side-by-sides, or innovative three-wheeled roadsters showcasing the Yamaha emblem at dealerships. The future holds exciting potential.
Final Message from Yamaha
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.
Yamaha’s departure from the snowmobile industry signifies the end of a noteworthy era in winter sports. Despite factors like changing preferences and environmental considerations, the brand’s legacy of innovation continues. As Yamaha embraces new prospects, their dedication to snowmobile owners remains unwavering. This shift embodies both closure and the pursuit of novel opportunities, reflecting Yamaha’s enduring commitment to innovation.