On July 18, 1997, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (YMC) President Takehiko Hasegawa was in attendance for the signing of an agreement in Malaysia for the founding of a new joint venture company to engage in the development of motorcycles. This becomes the second independent joint venture company devoted to the development of Yamaha brand motorcycles in Asia following the January 1997 founding of Yamaha Motor R&D Taiwan Co., Ltd. (YMRT).
The new company is to be named HL Yamaha Motor Research Centre Sdn. Bhd. (HLYR) and is established in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia with YMC's partner Hong Leong Industries Bhd (President & CEO: Kwek Leng San, company name abbreviation: HLI). The new company is capitalized at approximately 36 million yen (800,000 Malaysia dollars) with YMC investing 51% and HLI 49%.
The new company will be engaged in the development of motorcycles for the related motorcycle companies in Malaysia. At present, the motorcycle market in Malaysia is expected to show substantial growth that will be accompanied by intensified competition. This fact will increase the necessity for a higher degree of domestic production of components and completed motorcycles. In light of these conditions, the aim of the new company will be to help supply the market with competitive models that fit the specific needs of Malaysians in a timely fashion. Plans call for the new company to begin operations in October of this year. More detailed information about the specific business plans will be announced following official approval to engage in business from the Malaysian government.
At YMC we are dedicated to a basic policy of "developing and manufacturing products in the country where they will be used," with the aim of achieving the capacity to develop and manufacture products that fit the individual nature of the market and user needs in each country in a quick and timely manner. Based on this philosophy, Yamaha brand products are being manufactured today in 60 factories in 45 countries around the world under a program of increasing localization and globalization. In the same way, localization and globalization of product development is also proceeding in accordance with the individuality and capabilities of each market, and today there are specialized R&D operations at 13 bases around the world, including development companies like the new HLYR.
At YMC we will continue to dedicate ourselves to the creation of a development network that stresses the efficiency and market-specific concentration of development activities for the entire Yamaha group by building operations that can function with increasing quality and capacity and on shorter lead time to better respond to the distinct needs of each market amid today's increasingly global market competition.