Yamaha Motor Corporation Yamaha

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Henio Arcangeli, President, Yamaha Motor Corp., USA.

Business At a Glance

  • Sales financed by GE $2 billion
  • Number of dealers 1,000+
  • Length of relationship 27 years
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Yamaha's Challenge

In August of 1954, the Yamaha Motor Corporation produced its first motorcycle: the YA-1. This bike featured an air-cooled, 2-stroke, single cylinder 125cc engine, and was put through an unprecedented 10,000 km endurance test to ensure the highest standard of quality.

In the years since, Yamaha has built on this heritage of innovation. Yamaha was the first company to introduce a 4-stroke engine in a competition motocross bike—revolutionizing the industry—and the first to introduce electric power-steering into ATVs. The leading-edge design and superior performance of Yamaha products have repeatedly proven themselves in markets across the globe.

With an expanding line that includes motorcycles, outboard motors, ATVs, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, boats, outdoor power equipment, race kart engines, accessories, apparel and more, the Yamaha name represents not just products, but an entire lifestyle of outdoor enjoyment. To make this lifestyle accessible to motorsports fans across the US, this innovative manufacturer needed an innovative financing partner.

GE Capital's strategy

GE Capital first partnered with Yamaha in September of 1984 to provide its North American dealer network with an inventory financing solution. GE Capital relationship manager Paul Puma has worked alongside Yamaha for nearly the entire 27 years of the relationship. Paul and the team at GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance were able to offer a floor planning program that allowed the company's dealers to unlock the capital trapped in their stocks and offer a broad selection of products at all times.

With the help of GE Capital, Yamaha products could move seamlessly from the assembly line to the showroom. But Yamaha also wanted to offer retail financing to help get products in customers' hands. In 2004, GE Capital became the exclusive provider of installment financing for Yamaha customers. Joan Dyal Vernon from GE Capital Retail Finance helped create a program that gave dealers the ability to offer on-the-spot financing to qualified customers, and promotional financing at competitive interest rates and terms. GE Capital also provides easy to use online tools for both dealers and customers, as well as dedicated experts to help dealers resolve customer credit decisions and make sales.

“When our customers come back from a test drive, they're excited, they feel the power of the product, and they really want to take it home that same day. GE understands the passion they have and they make it happen.”

–Henio Arcangeli
President, Yamaha Motor Corp., USA

Yamaha's relationship with GE Capital is about more than money. As a major player in the power sports industry, GE Capital offers Yamaha data-driven insights into market trends and best practices. Yamaha's high-potential employees are regularly invited to GE's training and development programs. What's more, GE Capital is a true partner to Yamaha: Paul and Joan, both motorsports enthusiasts, lead a combined dedicated team of over 30 people, many within a few minutes' drive from Yamaha's US headquarters.

The results

By developing a close working relationship with the company—and responding to specific requests such as adding additional dealer support on the weekends when customer traffic is high—GE Capital has made a long-term commitment to Yamaha's success.

In 2010, GE Capital provided Yamaha's spring promotions for the first time, supplanting the company's usual provider. Promotional financing like this helps Yamaha drive more customers into its dealers and gives people the confidence they need to make the purchases they want.

As of today, over 90% of Yamaha's American dealers are participants in GE Capital's Yamaha Installment Program, which has generated $2 billion in sales—and counting.