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Yamaha ready to jump into final part of plan – November 13, 2006

November 13, 2006
Filed under Features

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., in the second year of its NEXT50-Phase II medium-term management plan, hopes to sell 4.46 million two-wheelers and 229,000 ATVs worldwide this year.
Yamaha President Takashi Kajikawa likens the three-year NEXT50-Phase II plan to a triple jump. Yamaha has successfully traversed the “hop” and is in the midst of the crucial “step” before making the final “jump”, he said.
“In any multi-stage process, the middle stage is the most crucial phase,” Kajikawa said while speaking about the company’s business goals. “Our first-year hop was strong, but how far we jump into the final year will depend entirely on our performance in 2006.”
Yamaha’s consolidated financial performance weighs heavily on its key motorcycle business. With this in mind, Yamaha leaders placed emphasis on three distinct areas to bolster in 2006: 1) expansion of the motorcycle business; 2) development of globally oriented, multi-talented personnel; and 3) becoming an “excellent” global company.
Expansion of the motorcycle business
“We must enhance the competitiveness of our core motorcycle business in particular if we are to achieve further growth,” Kajikawa said. “In the motorcycle business in Asia we are working to maximize growth opportunities, while in the motorcycle business in North America and Europe, the outboard motor business, and the ATV business, we are focused on attaining high profitability.
“To that end, in mature markets such as Europe and the United States, we will focus on creating high added value and securing a large market share. Our approach involves strengthening product competitiveness, promoting high value-added marketing to differentiate Yamaha from its competitors, and enhancing area marketing to improve regional market share.”
Kajikawa said the plan for India, China and Brazil, where Yamaha profitability and market share remain relatively low, is to further strengthen the manufacturing and sales foundation in order to improve profitability.
In the ASEAN region, Yamaha has been expanding the scale and profitability of business by aggressively introducing new products, promoting a branding strategy, cutting costs and improving the production system in line with increased production capacity.
Developing Personnel
“Ultimately, it is our people who will determine whether we succeed in achieving our key priorities,” Kajikawa said. “Although more than 80 percent of our consolidated net sales are derived from overseas markets, we still have a shortage of capable personnel in our global operations. We recognize our weaknesses in long-term personnel development, and are committed to developing systems to address the shortcomings this year.”
To ensure that every employee has a broad range of skills, Yamaha has spent the year training young talent and promoting career development to experienced staff.
Becoming “Excellent”
Since the launch of the original “NEXT50” medium-term management plan, profitability has been steadily entrenched into Yamaha Motor’s corporate structure.
“‘Excellent Companies’ those with a recurring profit ratio exceeding 10 percent, always operate in crisis mode, even when — especially when — there is no crisis,” Kajikawa said. “Unfortunately, we are slightly behind in our drive to reach one other crucial objective specified in the NEXT50 plan: attaining a recurring profit ratio of 5 percent at an exchange rate of 100 yen against the U.S. dollar and the euro. We must achieve this objective as soon as possible and set the stage for further growth if we are to survive in the age of global mega-competition.” PSB

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