Yamaha Updates Operation in Europe

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. have established Yamaha Motor Middle Europe B.V. (YMME), a new, joint venture intended to oversee Yamaha sales and marketing activities throughout Europe.

The establishment of YMME will integrate Yamaha management in Europe by forming subsidiaries out of the six Yamaha sales companies currently doing business in seven countries in Europe: Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and the United Kingdom.

In the 1970s, Yamaha Motor and Mitsui & Co. established companies in Germany and the UK to import and sell Yamaha Motor products under the latter's leadership. Drawing from Mitsui & Co.'s strength as a global trading company, the two organizations subsequently developed sales operations focusing on all Yamaha Motor products. In Eastern Europe, where the fall of communism opened markets in the early 1990s, the two companies developed businesses such as Yamaha Motor in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, and Mitsui & Co. in Poland.

Yamaha Motor says the establishment of YMME allows it to take control of its business in these key European markets, where competition has been intensifying in recent years, and says it plans to leverage Mitsui & Co.'s strength in areas such as finance and logistics.

Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. (YME), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Co., contributed 60 percent of YMME's capital of 18,000 euros, while Mitsui Automotive Europe B.V. (MAE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. contributed the remaining 40 percent.

Based in the Netherlands, YMME is scheduled to begin operations on Jan. 1, 2008. Yamaha expects YMME to achieve sales of €450 million in its first fiscal year (2008).