In some countries, being a motorcycle technician is sometimes considered as "tough" or "dirty" occupation. However, our dealers' mechanics are important associates of Yamaha, as they are in direct contact with customers, at the frontlines of the respective markets. Sometimes they may receive complaints from customers, but I want them to have high motivation at all times and to feel happy to be working with us. With that in mind, as part of our service policies, we founded the YTA in 2000 and started the WTGP in 2002.
The YTA is an educational program that aims to improve the knowledge and skills of service technicians, and it has been introduced to Yamaha dealer all over the world. Our competitors have also introduced education/training programs of many styles for the dealer staff, but the major characteristic of the YTA is the "actual object principle," which is a style specific to Yamaha. There are other methods, including e-learning, but we are intentionally allowing each mechanic to see and disassemble the actual products, in order to help them gain skills for real-life situations, along with coming to fully understand the structure of our motorcycles and how they actually operate.
When the YTA was founded, I was in charge of the Chinese market. In a country in which the culture and way of thinking was different from that in Japan, through trial & error in studying how to improve the technicians' knowledge and skills, I eventually came to think that we should not "teach skill" them but "develop skill" them using the YTA. Now, it is the true situation that, even if we develop service technicians, some of them learned skills in yamaha and move to other companies for higher salary. I expect that our staff would learn the skills and then train new staff as instructors, and that then we would have more and more staff with abundant knowledge and skills in the future.
I also expect that all of Yamaha's technicians all over the world would of course be honored with gratitude from customers who receive the service technician supplied, feeling delighted at such feedback and refining their skills further. If we can continue to create such a positive circle, it should make customers mind "I will buy Yamaha product again!," leading to satisfaction in the technician. We, at the Secretariat, will continue our steadfast efforts and will put our energies into developing technician that can inherit Yamaha's spirit and skill sets.
Our initial objective was to hold a 10th WTGP, but with the 7th event on the horizon, I think more seriously that we must continue holding the event even up to 20 and 30 times. I hope that Yamaha's employees are able to come to know about the efforts and feelings of the people at the Service Division through WTGP.