【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. launch / ˈlɒntʃ / (v.) – to sell something for the first time
Example: The store will launch its summer collection this week.
2. urban /ˈɝːbən / (adj.) – having the characteristics of a city
Example: Hong Kong’s urban centers are known for its tax-free shopping.
3. expertise /ˌekspɜːˈtiːz / (n.) – knowledge or skill in a certain field
Example: He was hired for his expertise in advertising.
4. agile / ˈædʒaɪl / (adj.) – can move in a quick manner
Example: The car is very agile.
5. compact / kəmˈpækt / (adj.) – smaller than the usual
Example: The compact car can seat about two to three people.
Read the text below.
Yamaha Motor Company aims to begin producing and selling two-seater cars as early as 2019.
This company is one of the most popular manufacturers of motorcycles in the world. While it has not produced a car before, Yamaha has already been involved with the car industry since its affiliation with Toyota in 1964. Yamaha has supplied more than three million engines to Toyota ever since.
Hiroyuki Yanagi, president of the corporation, revealed that Yamaha will first launch its small cars in Europe. The company deemed it ideal to make Europe their first market for the car because of its suitable city planning. Yamaha has allocated billions of yen to build a plant in Europe, but it has yet to decide on the plant’s exact location and output capacity.
Using its motorcycle expertise, the company intends to develop an agile subcompact car. Presented during the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, the urban car called the Motiv Concept Microcar will be intended for short-distance driving. Aimed at environmentally conscious drivers, the car will be coming in both one-liter petrol and electric versions.
A recent study stated that by 2021, the global production of automobiles will increase by 21 million units. This possible increase can be attributed to the high demand for cars, even for compact ones, in emerging markets. Yamaha wants to take advantage of this opportunity, as more and more people now prefer cars to motorcycles.
Upon the launch of the microcar, Yamaha will become the ninth Japanese automaker. Other Japanese automakers include Honda, Mistubishi, Subaru, and Mazda.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Do you agree with Yamaha’s move to manufacture cars for the first time? Why or why not?
· Do you think launching the cars in Europe is a good decision? Why is that so?
· Why do you think some people prefer cars to motorcycles?
· What can be the advantages of using motorcycles?