Yamaha says sayonara to snowmobiles

Yamaha announces its exit strategy from the snowmobile market

by Kyle Born

A snowmobiler leans right into a turn on his blue Yamaha sled.
For over half a century, Yamaha has been manufacturing excellent sleds. After one more year of production, the company will be calling it quits.

After 55 years of making snowmobiles, Yamaha is leaving the industry. The company made the announcement via a press release on June 28, 2023. The last Yamaha snowmobiles to be produced will be model year 2025, which are slated for release next year. After that time, Yamaha snowmobiles will become a relic of yesteryear, a permanent memory only to be found within Old Sled Zone archives—which we’ve written about plenty of times in the past (see below).

In 1968, Yamaha released its first snowmobile, the SL350, by applying small engine technology which it developed in the motorcycle business. Over the past 55 years, Yamaha developed snowmobiles for sports, leisure, and business use as a means of transportation mainly in snowy areas found in North America and Europe. Yamaha also aimed to grow the business through the early introduction of environmentally-friendly 4-stroke models and alliances with other companies. However, Yamaha has concluded it will be difficult to continue a sustainable business in the snowmobile market.

Yamaha has ensured its customers of parts availability, service, and related customer satisfaction now and after the snowmobile final production run occurs. Production of the recently introduced 2024 models is underway and scheduled for fall delivery. Yamaha distributors will be working closely with dealers to minimize impact and best position their business over the next 12 to 36 months. Due to this exit schedule, Yamaha anticipates the effect on consolidated business results to be minor.

Going forward, Yamaha will concentrate management resources on current business activities and new growth markets, which could mean a boost to the brand’s side-by-side, marine, motorcycle and e-bike products.

Yamaha’s most popular Old Sled Zone articles:

If Yamaha’s exit from the snowmobile business has you longing for the days of yore, you’re in luck. Here’s a collection of our most popular Old Sled Zone articles that feature classic Yamahas of the past.

Old Sled Sighting: Yamaha 340 ET Enticer – An original muscle sled
Old Sled Sighting: 1980’s Yamaha Phazer, “the sled that began a new era of snowmobiling”
Old Sled Zone: 1976 Yamaha SRX 340 factory race sled
Old Sled Zone – 1990 Yamaha Enticer 400 T/R
Old Sled Sighting—1984 Yamaha Inviter: a truly unique snowmobile that missed the mark(et)

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