Yamah and Ford Team to Build Boat Engines

10 Jan 2001

Jan 15th Boating Industry International article, Ford, Yamaha: no agreement yet to make marine engines reports a Ford released a statement today saying no agreement has been reached yet.

RBBI Comment: Looks like the news (or lack of it), is just recirculating. The BII article above appears based on Reuters Jan 15th coverage (below) based on the Dow Jones 12 Jan Tokyo newswire report below it (we posted it last week). Hopefully, all of us will all have some real news to report soon.

TOKYO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - 
exerpts below

Ford Motor Co said on Monday it had no plans to set up a joint boat 
engine venture in North America with Yamaha Motor Co Ltd , despite 
an announcement of such an agreement last week by Yamaha. ...

``Ford has no agreement to form a boat engine venture with Yamaha. 
Ford has no plans to form an alliance of any kind for boat engines 
with Yamaha,'' a Ford Japan spokeswoman said.

Ford Denies Teaming Up With YamahaTo Mfg Boat Motors

Summary of Dow Jones Newswire
12 Jan 2001
by Todd Zaun
Ford Motor Co. has strongly denied it agreed to team up with Yamaha Motor Co.in North America, contradicting the earlier announcement.

.... a Ford official said the U.S. auto company "has no agreement to form an alliance of any kind with Yamaha"

Ford did talk to Yamaha, but "it is pure speculation to say that such talks result in an agreement," said Ford Japan spokesman Ted Takei.

After the denial, Yamaha spokesman Toshio Furusawa said Friday that Hasegawa and a "top executive" from Ford had made a verbal agreement to form the alliance, with several details yet to be finalized. He declined to name the Ford executive.

Portions of the AP News bulletin announcing the project are reproduced below.

AP News
Wednesday January 10 10:56 AM ET
TOKYO (AP) - Yamaha Motor Co. will set up a joint-venture in North America with Ford Motor Co. to manufacture and sell boat engines, mainly for the U.S. market, Yamaha's president said Wednesday.

Yamaha plans to establish the new company by spring. Location and other details have not yet been decided. Ford officials in Japan had no comment.

Yamaha has approached Japan's top carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. to invest in the company, said Yamaha spokesman Tetsuo Osumi.

Through the joint venture, Yamaha has eyes on the American market for engines on mid-size recreational boats, the world's biggest market, Osumi said. But the new company will market the engines worldwide, he said.

Reuters story filed Jan 10th in Tokyo said:

"The two companies have yet to finalise details of the new firm, which
will make and sell stern-drive engines for the pleasure boat industry in
North America." 
The article says Yamaha said the U.S. accounts for 60 percent of global sternd drive engine demand of about 200,000 units annually.

"Toyota confirmed that it was considering becoming involved with the
new venture, possibly entering into an exchange of information and
technology, but declined to comment on whether it would take a stake
in the unit. "

Jan 10 AFX UK News, EXTEL filed inTokyo:

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - ... "We agreed to set up a new company in North America for pleasure-boat engines," he said, adding that other details of the venture, including investment ratio and capital, have not been decided.

Jan 11th, Boating International reports Phil Dyskow, president of Yamaha Marine in the U.S. says the agreement is not yet signed, but has been presented to Toyota for consideration. A Ford spokeperson says their is no agreement or steps toward and agreement with Yamaha.

Miscellaneous RBBI Comments: Details and industry comments are still sketchy. We also heard Yamaha acquired Toyota Marine - but we have not been able to confirm it.

If you see any news on the Yamaha Ford deal, please e-mail us.
With Ford and Yamaha making stern drive engines (and possible tie in of Toyota), you assume they are going to make stern drives too. This puts them fully head to head against MerCruiser, Brunswicks dominant player in this field.

Yamaha marketed several stern drives models in the U.S. in the late 80s thru mid 90's including the Hydradrive.

Toyota has been showing a stern drive in Japan for a couple years that strongly resembles the Yamaha drives.

Yamaha Motor's European page shows a diesel stern drive. Click on products, marine, engines, stern drive to view the image.

Yamaha is a major boat builder in Japan. Perhaps they will choose to go vertical to gain instant market share and snap up some of the OMC boat companies? Or they may follow the Japanese practice of forming alliances like this one? Genmar ?

Possible reasons for release of information before Ford is ready to acknowledge the agreement include:

All this could have major implications on the OMC situation being covered on our Whats Next for OMC page.

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