News

Yamaha abandons development of cars

The company's president has halted work with Gordon Murray Design, as the proposed vehicles don't stand out sufficiently from models available from existing players.
- shares

Yamaha is putting aside its dreams of becoming a carmaker, and will instead concentrate on motorcycles, outboard motors and carts.

The company had been developing cars in association with Gordon Murray Design. The 2013 Motiv.e (below), 2015 Sports Ride (top) and 2017 Cross Hub concepts were all based on the Murray's iStream manufacturing process.

Making use of lightweight materials, including generous servings of carbon-fibre, these vehicles were said to have excellent power-to-weight ratios and tip the scales at around 900 kilograms.

Naoto Horie, a Yamaha Motor spokesman, told Autocar, "Cars do not feature in our long-term plans any more".

He explained president Yoshihiro Hidaka had axed the development program as it couldn't make those vehicles "make it stand out from the competition, which is very strong".

The spokesman went on to say the Sports Ride "had great appeal for us as enthusiasts, but the marketplace is particularly difficult".

It's unclear if the decision to abandon development of traditional cars affects the company's designs in the self-driving sector.

In August, Yamaha and Sony unveiled the SC-1 Sociable Cart. The five-seat autonomous shuttle is designed as a service vehicle for contained environments.