Yamaha Corporation

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Yamaha KK

legal form Kabushiki-gaisha (KK) (joint stock company)
ISIN JP3942600002
founding 1887; AG since October 12, 1897
Seat Hamamatsu , JapanJapanJapan 
management Takuya Nakata (President)
Number of employees 20,228 (2018)
sales JPY 433 billion (EUR 3.5 billion) (2018)
Branch Conglomerate
Website www.yamaha.com

Yamaha Corporation headquarters in Hamamatsu

The company Yamaha Corporation ( Japanese ヤ マ ハ 株式会社 , Yamaha kabushiki-gaisha ) is a Japanese public company headquartered in Hamamatsu . The conglomerate listed in the Nikkei 225 offers many products and services, mainly in the areas of musical instruments , electronics and hi-fi . The company logo with the three tuning forks symbolizes the original business field of musical instruments.

In 1887, the year it was founded, Torakusu Yamaha built its first instrument, a harmonium . Numerous other musical instruments followed in the 20th century. The group has had its current name since 1987, when the company's 100th anniversary was celebrated. The name Yamaha was used earlier in subsidiaries , including the Yamaha Motor Company founded in 1955 . Today this is an independent group in which the Yamaha Corporation still holds almost 10 percent of the shares.


Founding years and early boom

Torakusu Yamaha (1851-1916)

Yamaha was founded in 1887. That year Torakusu Yamaha built its first harmonium . He had previously been commissioned to repair the American harmonium in the primary school in Hamamatsu. He was so fascinated by the construction that he and a helper spent 36 days working with the instrument. He developed the vision that in the future there would be a harmonium in every elementary school in Japan and that these instruments should be made in Japan. He made drawings and then built a similar instrument with his assistant. The two allegedly carried their prototype suspended on a carrying pole around 250 kilometers and sometimes over steep mountains from Hamamatsu to Tokyo , in order to have the instrument appraised at the newly founded conservatory there. After all, there was a rail link from Odawara to Tokyo on the last third of the route . However, the instrument was badly tuned and was therefore rejected. Yamaha then acquired theoretical knowledge at the conservatory and worked for four months from dawn to dusk until he succeeded in making a usable harmonium. The specialist book The Piano: An Encyclopedia wants nothing to do with the heroic forced march with the harmonium as luggage. It only reports that the president of the Tokyo Conservatory invited Yamaha to Tokyo for further training after learning of their attempt to build a harmonium, and that Yamaha accepted the invitation.

Yamaha's company in Hamamatsu was initially called Yamaha Hukin Seizo-sho , which means “Yamaha organ manufacture”. In 1889 it was set up as a corporation and had around 100 employees. In 1889, 250 harmonies were built. The young company profited from the fact that Hamamatsu was connected to the railway network in the same year and experienced an economic boom. In 1891 the company was renamed to Yamaha Gakki Seizo-sho , which means “Yamaha Musical Instrument Construction”. In 1892 the company exported 78 harmonies.

On October 12, 1897, the company was converted into a stock corporation and renamed Nippon Gakki KK , literally "Japan Musikinstrumenten AG". It kept that name for 90 years until 1987. Torakusu Yamaha became the company's first president . He ran the company until his death in 1916.

In 1898 the company developed its first logo . The motif was a dragon-like bird entwined with ornaments, a kind of Chinese phoenix with a single large tuning fork in its beak. The figurative mark with the three tuning forks that crossed was not created until 1916, and the framing circle was added in 1967.

In the first few decades, Nippon Gakki's growth benefited from the fact that there was little competition in Japan. In 1927, a competitor grew up in the same place when the Kawai piano company was also established in Hamamatsu. Its founder Koichi Kawai started at Nippon Gakki in 1897 as an eleven-year-old apprentice and later played a key role in the company as a brilliant technician. In 1933, Nippon Gakki dominated the Japanese piano market with a market share of around 85 percent.

Timeline: milestones

Yamaha CR-500,
receiver (1973), power 2 × 22 W.
E-piano CP30 from 1976
Yamaha CP-70M Grand Piano (1980)
C6 grand piano (1980s)
Yamaha DX7 (from 1983)
Pacifica electric guitar by Yamaha (from 1989)
Yamaha RX-V 393
home theater receiver (1998–99), power of the front channels 50 W each
Yamaha QY70 (1997)

Source: ua

1900 to 1950

  • In 1900 the production of pianos began . In the previous year, Torakusu Yamaha took a trip to the USA and visited piano factories there in order to get to know the technique of piano construction in detail and to organize the import of components and machines to Japan.
  • The first grand pianos were made in 1902 .
  • In 1903, Torakusu Yamaha began making wooden furniture based on his knowledge of woodworking .
  • In 1904, Yamaha's company won the Honorary Grand Prize at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, USA for its pianos and harmonies.
  • The first harmonica was made in 1914 .
  • Production of phonographs began in 1922 .
  • In 1930 the company built the world's first acoustic laboratory .
  • In 1932 pipe organs were added to the product range for the first time .
  • In 1935 the first electromechanical organ was built with the Magna organ .
  • During the Second World War , like many other companies, production was converted to armaments (mainly aircraft parts).
  • In 1942 the first acoustic guitars were made.
  • At the beginning of 1945 the production facilities were largely destroyed by bombing by the Allies.
  • After the end of the war, the then director Kaichi Kawakami rebuilt the company with the production of simple mechanical parts, but soon concentrated again on the construction of musical instruments.
  • 1949: In May of that year, the company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange .
  • In 1950 Genichi Kawakami took over the management of the company. He shaped the group for decades and drove its expansion.

1951 to 2000

  • In 1953, Nippon Gakki began expanding outside of Asia.
  • 1953: Genichi Kawakami ordered the development of a motorcycle to be started in November 1953 . In the following year, prototypes of the first motorcycle model YA-1 were built and tested.
  • In 1954 the first Yamaha Music School was opened.
  • In 1954 the first hi-fi player was introduced.
  • In 1955, the subsidiary Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. founded, which now took over the production of the YA-1. The motorcycle division was spun off from the Nippon Gakki company.
  • In 1958, Yamaha de Mexico SA opened the first overseas branch.
  • In 1959 the Yamaha Technical Laboratories were opened. In addition, the Electone, the first electronic organ, was presented.
  • In 1959, the first sports equipment with fiberglass-reinforced plastic bows and arrows were sold.
  • In 1960 the first branch was opened in the USA .
  • In 1962, Yamaha Recreation Co., Ltd. founded.
  • In 1965, Yamaha began making wind instruments and opened the first music school in Los Angeles .
  • In 1966, the group expanded to Europe with Yamaha Europa GmbH in Germany and began marketing guitars and drums .
  • In 1967, Yamaha's CF concert grand piano the first concert grand piano , the pianist Sviatoslav Richter played in 1969 on his tour of Italy.
  • In 1968, Yamaha introduced its first hi-fi stereo equipment.
  • In 1971 Yamaha began producing microelectronics .
  • In 1972 Yamaha presented a new series of wind instruments, which had been developed in cooperation with the Vienna Philharmonic .
  • In 1974 the group expanded its product portfolio with the introduction of loudspeakers (NS1000M), synthesizers (CSY-1) and mixing consoles (PM-1000).
  • In 1975 the sports equipment division expanded its portfolio to include tennis rackets .
  • In 1976 Yamaha began producing electric and electronic pianos .
  • In 1980 the PortaSound was the first portable keyboard .
  • In 1982 the sports equipment division presented the first carbon composite golf clubs .
  • In 1982 Yamaha sold the first CD player and the first Disklavier .
  • In 1983, Yamaha to on the FM synthesis based synthesizer DX7 ago, which sold about 160,000 copies and the sound world of 1980 sustainably coined.
  • The first industrial robots were manufactured in 1984 .
  • In 1986, the DSP-1 was the first digital sound field processor to be introduced.
  • In 1987 the company was renamed the Yamaha Corporation for the 100th anniversary .
  • In 1989, Yamaha introduced the first CD recorder .
  • In 1993 the first golf clubs with titanium shafts were introduced worldwide .

21st century

  • In 2002 the marketing of sports bows was stopped.
  • In 2003, Yamaha withdrew from the CD-R / RW business.
  • In 2004 another electronic organ was presented with the STAGEA .
  • In 2004 the renowned music software manufacturer Steinberg was taken over.
  • In 2007 the Austrian piano manufacturer Bösendorfer was taken over.
  • In 2008 the French company Nexo, a specialist in loudspeakers and sound reinforcement systems, was taken over.
Yamaha AV receiver 2009–2010, output per channel 105 W
  • In 2009 the piano manufacturer Kemble in Milton Keynes , U. K. was taken over 100%.
  • In 2009 the minority stake of 24.99% in the Braunschweig piano manufacturer Schimmel was terminated during its insolvency phase.
  • In 2010 the new concert grand model CFX was presented after almost 20 years of development. Yulianna Avdeeva won first prize at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw on October 25, 2010 on the CFX concert grand .
  • In 2012, the new SE122 and SE132 pianos were presented at the Frankfurt Musikmesse.
  • In 2012 the new generation of wings in the CX series was presented.
Yamaha, IFA 2018, Berlin
  • In 2014 Line 6 was taken over 100% (founded 1996 in California). Business areas: digital modeling guitar amplifiers, wireless microphones, systems for guitars and PA equipment; POD multi-effects processors, digital effects and live sound mixers, speakers and iOS interfaces.
  • In 2014 the audio manufacturer Revolabs based in Sudbury / Mass. (USA) 100% taken over. In June 2018, the subsidiary was renamed Yamaha Unified Communications .
  • In 2014 the new generation of TransAcoustic pianos was launched. The new technology transforms the soundboard of the acoustic piano into a loudspeaker.
  • In 2015, Yamaha re-released the MusicCast multiroom system, which can now be used to distribute music sources between audio components.
  • 2018: The subsidiary Yamaha Guitar Group, founded in April 2018 in California , took over the brand of the bass amplifier manufacturer Ampeg from Loud Technologies (USA) in May 2018 .

Subsidiaries and brands

The Yamaha Corporation group has 63 subsidiaries (as of 2019), including:

  • Yamaha Fine Technologies - Measuring Instruments, Metal & Plastic Processing, Precision Machinery and Robots
  • Yamaha Hi-Tech Design Corporation
  • Yamaha Unified Communications (formerly Revolabs)
  • Steinberg Media Technologies (since 2004) - music software and plugins
  • Bösendorfer (since late 2007) - pianos and grand pianos
  • Yamaha Guitar Group, California (since 2018)

In addition to its own Yamaha brand , which it shares with the Yamaha Motor Company, the Yamaha Corporation group of companies also includes the following brands:

  • Bösendorfer
  • Steinberg
  • Line 6
  • Nexo

Relationship with the Yamaha Motor Company

Former subsidiary

When the Yamaha Motor Company was founded on July 1, 1955, it was a spin-off of the recently founded motorcycle division of the company Nippon Gakki , as the Yamaha Corporation was then still called. Genichi Kawakami, President of Nippon Gakki, had ordered the board of directors on November 7, 1953 that motorcycles should be produced in the future. The development work for the first motorcycle model YA-1 took place at Nippon Gakki, even before the establishment of the Yamaha Motor Company, which then took over the production of the YA-1. The new company was a subsidiary of Nippon Gakki. Genichi Kawakami was President of Nippon Gakki and the first President of the Yamaha Motor Company. For decades he played a dominant role in the group, persistently pushed its expansion forward and was considered the "emperor" by the employees.

The gradual separation of the Yamaha Motor Company from the parent company dragged on over decades. From 1966, Yamaha Motor organized the export of its own products independently of Nippon Gakki. Another step was the split up of the Yamaha International Corporation in 1977. This was also founded in 1960 as a subsidiary of Nippon Gakki and initially also sold Yamaha Motor products in the USA. In 1977 the Yamaha International Corporation divisions working for Yamaha Motor were spun off and incorporated into the newly founded Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, a subsidiary of Yamaha Motor. The rest of the Yamaha International Corporation with the music-related activities was later renamed the Yamaha Corporation of America . From 1981 Yamaha Motor was able to manufacture cast iron parts for motorcycles (for example cylinder heads) under its own responsibility and use its own, newly built factory for this. Nippon Gakki and Yamaha Motor remained closely connected afterwards, for example personnel was still exchanged between the companies.

In the 2007 Annual Report of Yamaha Corporation (for the 2007 fiscal year ended March 31, 2007), Yamaha Motor was still listed as a subsidiary. At the same time a sale of shares in Yamaha Motor was announced, which would result in the removal of Yamaha Motor from the group of consolidated subsidiaries. This step was justified with the strong growth of Yamaha Motor. The block of shares was sold in May 2007.

Today Yamaha Motor is an independent group alongside the Yamaha Corporation. Since 2010, Yamaha Motor has been referred to as a "Former Subsidiary" in Yamaha Corporation's annual reports. The Yamaha Motor group has long outstripped its former parent company, with more than twice as many employees, more than twice as many subsidiaries and almost four times the turnover compared to the Yamaha Corporation (as of 2019).

Common brand

The two groups share the common brand name Yamaha and cooperate primarily in this area with the aim of strengthening the joint brand Yamaha , the value of which was around 1 billion US dollars in 2018. In 2007, for example, they set up a Joint Brand Committee under the motto Two Yamahas, One Passion (“Two Yamahas, one passion”) to look after the common brand. The two Yamahas with the different business areas “Music” and “Motors” try to actively bring the connecting slogan Two Yamahas, One Passion to the public. To this end, an event was held in Tokyo in October 2018, where musician Francesco Tristano and five well-known MotoGP riders, including Valentino Rossi , performed together on stage.

An example of the cooperative use of the common brand is the multiple linking of the Yamaha Motor Company on the websites of the Yamaha Corporation. On the global website and in the country-specific versions for the USA and countries in Europe, the Yamaha Motor logo and the image of a motorcycle appear on all individual websites, along with other logos. From there, the user can get to the Yamaha Motor website with just one click. Conversely, on country-specific websites of Yamaha Motor, a link to the Yamaha Corporation is often offered - comparatively inconspicuous and with the label "Yamaha Music". A link to “Yamaha Music” is also included on the Yamaha Motor country selection page.

The two corporations use similar logos that differ only slightly apart from the color. As a sign of solidarity, a logo was also created for the “double” birthday of Yamaha on October 12th (the founding day of the Yamaha Corporation) and on July 1st (the founding day of the Yamaha Motor Company). The graphic summarizes these days to a Yamaha Day , with both company logos and the explanation Birthday of Yamaha, October 12 & July 1 . It is used for celebrations on both birthdays.

Mutual participation

The cooperation and a certain amount of mutual monitoring ("monitoring") are also expressed in the fact that the corporations each hold shares in the sister corporation and include executives from the other Yamaha corporation on their own board. Yamaha Corporation holds 9.92% of the shares in Yamaha Motor, only The Master Trust Bank of Japan holds more shares (as of June 30, 2019). For its part, Yamaha Motor holds 5.7% of the shares of the Yamaha Corporation and thus ranks third among the investors (as of March 31, 2018).

Yoshihiro Hidaka, the President and CEO of Yamaha Motor (as of June 2018) , is one of six so-called outside directors on the nine-member board of the Yamaha Corporation . Conversely, Takuya Nakata, President of the Yamaha Corporation, is one of the four Outside Directors on the eleven-member board of the Yamaha Motor Company (as of March 2019).

Web links

Commons : Yamaha Group  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Corporate Profile yamaha.com
  2. a b Yamaha: Annual Report 2018 (PDF)
  3. See the timeline for product development under Development of Products: By Years yamaha.com
  4. a b Stock Information global.yamaha-motor.com, see Principle shareholders .
  5. a b c d e f g Robert Palmieri (ed.): The Piano: An Encyclopedia . Routledge, 2004, p. 191.
  6. a b c The founder of the Yamaha Corporation: Torakusu Yamaha hamamatsu-daisuki.net
  7. Origins of the Yamaha Brand yamaha.com
  8. ^ A b c Gellerman: Gellerman's International Reed Organ Atlas , 2nd Edition, Vestal Press, 1998, p. 276, article Yamaha Corp.
  9. a b History of Logo yamaha.com
  10. The founder of Kawai Musical Instruments Mfg. Co., Ltd .: Koichi Kawai hamamatsu-daisuki.net
  11. https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/yamaha/cr-500.shtml , accessed on May 23, 2020.
  12. hifiengine.com 2020, Yamaha RX-V393, Audio Video Receiver , accessed on May 23, 2020.
  13. Corporate Chronology yamaha.com
  14. FAQ: Yamaha's history yamaha.com, see Q2.
  15. a b Obituaries: Genichi Kawakami telegraph.co.uk, June 5, 2002.
  16. a b c 1953–1955: Entering the Motorcycle Market and Establishing Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. global.yamaha-motor.com
  17. a b history of nexo-sa.com
  18. hifiengine.com 2020, Yamaha RX-V465 , accessed June 6, 2020.
  19. de.line6.com: Yamaha Corporations takeover Line 6
  20. a b Name of Yamaha US Subsidiary Revolabs, Inc. Changed Yamaha Corporation press release, June 5, 2018.
  21. TransAcoustic - A New Kind of Pianos de.yamaha.com, March 12, 2014.
  22. Yamaha presents new "MusicCast" multi-room system on AreaDVD on August 20, 2015, accessed July 4, 2020
  23. a b Yamaha US Subsidiary, Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc., Acquires the Ampeg Bass Amplifier Brand and Business Operations press release from Yamaha Corporation, May 11, 2018.
  24. Group Companies (Japan) and Group Companies (Worldwide) yamaha.com
  25. Products & Services yamaha.com, see Brands of Yamaha Corporation Group .
  26. Corporate Timeline global.yamaha-motor.com, see 1966th
  27. Corporate Timeline global.yamaha-motor.com, see 1960th
  28. Corporate Timeline global.yamaha-motor.com, see 1977.
  29. Our Story Website of the Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, see 1977.
  30. Yamaha Motor Group companies and affiliates global.yamaha-motor.com
  31. Corporate Information usa.yamaha.com, see About Yamaha Corporation of America . Quote: Established in 1960 as Yamaha International Corporation .
  32. Our History of Casting Vol. 3 global.yamaha-motor.com
  33. Our History of Casting Vol. 4 global.yamaha-motor.com
  34. Yamaha: Annual Report 2007 (PDF), p. 62, section 1 (b).
  35. Yamaha: Annual Report 2007 (PDF), p. 14, section A new relationship with Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
  36. Yamaha: Annual Report 2008 (PDF), p. 88.
  37. Yamaha: Annual Report 2010 (PDF), p. 65, Section 25 (a) (2). Quote: Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., a former affiliated company with the Yamaha brand .
  38. Yamaha: Annual Report 2018 (PDF), p. 101, Section 23 (a) (2). Quote: Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., a former affiliated company which shares the Yamaha brand .
  39. See data at Yamaha Motor: Overview and at Yamaha Corporation: Corporate Profile
  40. a b Yamaha: Annual Report 2018 (PDF), p. 73, first footnote.
  41. Yamaha: Annual Report 2018 (PDF), p. 13.
  42. Yamaha: Annual Report 2008 (PDF), p. 42.
  43. Yamaha: Annual Report 2018 (PDF), p. 59.
  44. Two Yamahas, One Passion: Special Event 2018 live.yamaha.com
  45. Two Yamahas, One Passion - Riders meet Pianist - Event Presented in Video Joint press release from Yamaha Corporation and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., November 6, 2018.
  46. As examples the country-specific homepages of the Yamaha Corporation for Germany , Austria , Finland , Portugal , Turkey , USA . See the clickable motorcycle image with the logo at the bottom right. The same link can be seen on the sub-pages of the websites.
  47. As examples, the country-specific homepages of the Yamaha Motor Company for Sweden and Croatia . See the Yamaha Music link at the bottom, which can also be seen on the subpages.
  48. Country selection page on yamaha-motor.eu, see the link Yamaha Music below .
  49. Logo for the Yamaha Day on Facebook
  50. Example of the use of the Yamaha Day logo on October 12th: Joint press release by Yamaha Corporation and Yamaha Motor Co. for the Yamaha Design Exhibition on October 12th to 14th, 2018.
  51. Example of the use of the Yamaha Day logo on July 1st: Greeting from the President of Yamaha Motor on July 1st, 2019, video on YouTube (0:29 min.).
  52. Yamaha: Annual Report 2018 (PDF), p. 118, see Major shareholders .
  53. Yamaha: Annual Report 2018 (PDF), p. 60.
  54. Directors and Audit & Supervisory Board Members global.yamaha-motor.com