Yamahas built by CFMoto 'solely for the domestic Chinese market' says European boss

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Yamaha’s European President has spoken out to clarify the brand’s recently announced joint venture with CFMoto, by stating that any bikes built as a result will be solely for the domestic Chinese market.

Back in September 2023, Yamaha announced a new manufacturing joint venture with China’s CFMoto, which led to speculation that some Yamaha models destined for Europe may now be built by the Hangzhou firm.

After all, CFMoto already has a similar arrangement with Austrian brand KTM, with the recently relaunched 790 Adventure and Duke parallel twins now built by CFMoto in China.

Yamaha European president Eric de Seyne

Now Yamaha in Japan has issued a statement stating categorically that: “the collaboration solely consists of an industrial cooperation to manufacture vehicles in China, for the Chinese market.”

For further clarity, we also spoke to the President of Yamaha Europe, Eric de Seynes, who told MCN: “This deal with CFMoto is really a joint venture to support the Chinese market – which is huge – with specific Yamaha [models].

“When I had a discussion with our President about the proximity of CFMoto and KTM… it seemed that it was totally distant, even separate. Also, CFMoto is much bigger than we expect [looking at it] from Europe, they have very specific divisional activities, and it seems that they don’t even speak so much,” he continued.

2023 KTM 790 Adventure is now built in China

“This deal is not at that [KTM] stage. It is really an opportunistic deal to continue to serve properly the Chinese market. This is my understanding. So, it’s not to challenge Stefan (Pierer, boss of KTM).”