Did I surprise you? Probably :)
Alright, Yamaha has discontinued Gladiator. So, is it good or bad? Depends on how Yamaha views the situation.
Here's a perspective.
Gladiator has been around for quite some time. Few years, to say the least. Biking fraternity knows Gladiator. Why? May be coz of marketing, may be coz of blogs, may be coz of the fact that it comes from Yamaha. There could many more reasons.
Looking at it from purely a business point of view, the brand Gladiator seems to be present in prospects' minds, even if not favorably. In today's world, marketing is unarguably the biggest challenge and perhaps the biggest cost. I am asking, can Yamaha leverage this brand 'awareness' equity?
Of course! Few reasons to my claim and a couple of solutions.
The brand name GLADIATOR is very good. People can have views on the 'degree' of goodness but they can't deny that it can be a good motorcycle brand name.
Coming from Yamaha, the name GLADIATOR has the potential to carry forward all the attributes attached to the brand Yamaha in India. You agree?
So, the name's taken care of. The awareness of the name is also taken care of. Now what?
Try imagining a 300cc kind of cruiser with the name Gladiator.
Try imagining a naked 250cc (or even a 150cc with a good big tank :)) with the name Gladiator and coming from Yamaha.
To my mind, the second offering might fit better. Importantly what it could do is save Yamaha the hard part of marketing coz the name is already there in people's minds. It will also match the actual product with the already established name and therefore, find it easy to get people to accept the bike.
The thing is if a Hero Honda Hunk (I don't deny it's a decent bike) could sell here, a 250cc naked Gladiator would rock. Besides, aren't Gladiators often imagined naked, if we go by the Hollywood movies :)!