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Yamaha outboards forged in demanding overseas markets

Introducing the 50-year history of Yamaha outboard motors (1960-2010)

Yamaha outboards, tried, refined and proven in the world's toughest commercial markets

Yamaha outboards are used and loved today in both the pleasure-use and commercial-use markets around the world. Of these, it is the commercial market that places the toughest demands on an outboard in a variety of different environments, and it is here, responding to these demanding needs that Yamaha Motor engineers tested, developed and proved what is now the legendary Yamaha outboard reliability and durability. In the year 1967, the first president of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Genichi Kawakami, had a meeting with Pakistan's Ambassador to Japan. The Ambassador told president Kawakami that in his country during the rainy season the roads become flooded so that even buses can not run. President Kawakami responded by saying that Yamaha has outboard motors and the company would be pleased if those outboards might be of some help. That was the start of Yamaha's venture into the overseas outboard motor market.

A service campaign for the P165G conducted with local service people (Sri Lanka)

Taking the hands-on market-specific approach overseas

When Yamaha Motor engineers first traveled to what was then East Pakistan (current Bangladesh) and saw the system of countless canals and extensive use of water transport in the country's coastal region, the first thing that impressed them was the enormous potential for outboard market development. But there were a number of high hurdles that had to be cleared before outboards could be introduced successfully there. One of the most immediate obstacles was the shape of the traditional boats used there. They were double-ender boats that could not mount an outboard without modification. After much trial and error, a new type of boat tailored to the needs of the market was developed and named the P125AK. A demonstration with this new boat mounting an outboard motor was held.
That was not the end of the trials, however. There was a rush of claims citing trouble with the newly introduced P250K outboard. Yamaha Motor responded quickly by sending people from the Service Division to survey the situation. What they saw was the extremely hard use the outboards were being put to. The outboards being sold there were commercial-use models, and if they broke down, it brought an immediate effect on the livelihood of the owner. Yamaha knew the seriousness of this responsibility and every time a problem occurred the company was quick to send a team of engineers to the site to nip the trouble in its bud with effective solutions. These repeated efforts gave the users a feeling of assurance that Yamaha would always be there to solve any problems that arose, and that reputation spread by word of mouth throughout the markets of Asia.

East Pakistan (current Bangladesh) in 1967. There were many boats but few were motorized

A boat introduced by Yamaha Motor in Pakistan in 1969 powered by the Yamaha P125AK outboard

Going to the customers with service demonstrations

By 1970, Yamaha Motor had entered the US market, but the company's commitment to the commercial-use market would become even stronger and lead to closer involvement in markets around the world. The fundamental approach behind this commitment was to tackle problems on-site wherever and whenever they arose, in any part of the world. Under that commitment, Yamaha Motor actively sent development staff to markets in Africa, Latin America, South Asia and Southeast Asia whenever there was a need. These are places where the North American and European based outboard makers had never ventured at the time. In these countries, they often saw outboards of the North American and European maker that had been imported but had no service backup, so they were just left to rust once they broke down. That led Yamaha to begin sending in service people to give service demonstrations. They traveled from fishing village to village and from harbor to harbor performing maintenance and giving service demonstrations. In these regions an outboard motor was an important possession that could help people like fishermen make a better living and improve life for them and their families. In addition to providing service for Yamaha outboards, the Yamaha service people also worked actively to repair many outboards of the other manufactures that were broken down. Of course trouble continued to arise with our products too, but whenever problems arose Yamaha Motor was there to find the cause and make improvements until we gradually created a whole new category of commercial-use outboard motors, with spec variations to fit the exact needs and use conditions of each region. These efforts are what refined and matured Yamaha Motor's Enduro line of outboards that people love and depend on in their work all over the world today.

Preparing for an outboard demonstration in Colombia

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