Hiroko Kiba: In the last two interviews we explored the changes that Yanmar has been making in recent times. The decision to recreate the brand image that has been formed over the past 100 years with the new Brand Statement, A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE, was quite a big move for Yanmar.
Takehito Yamaoka: The much loved weather forecast animation characters, Yanboh & Marboh, came about in 1959; the same year that I was born. Both Yanmar and I grew up alongside these two characters.
However with the diversification of business and the acceleration of globalization over the years our core values diverged from the image that these characters portrayed. Our 100 year anniversary served as a turning point to make a break away from this image.
In 1998, the year that I was appointed as company President, Japan’s economic bubble had burst and we were pushing forward with various reforms in order to rebuild our company in spite of the severe economic slump. Even in the face of such severe conditions, the fact that we didn’t enter a downward trend is largely due to the underlying strength of our employees here at Yanmar. For that reason, I could pursue forward into the next 100 years with confidence.
Hiroko Kiba: A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE demonstrates Yanmar’s commitment to leveraging technology to solve global food and energy issues. As the president what are your thoughts and feelings towards this vision?
Takehito Yamaoka: Our current vision joins that of our founder “to conserve fuel is to serve mankind” with the present day needs; signifying our commitment to enriching our environment and creating a society that can enjoy prosperity with minimal use of energy. In aiming to achieve this vision we’ve devised four aspirations for our society which we are working to make a reality. These are; an energy-saving society, a society where people can work and live with peace of mind, a society where people can enjoy safe and plentiful food and a society that offers an exciting life filled with rich and fulfilling experiences.