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Yamaha Corp. Streamlines Its U.S. Operations : New President Named in Move Aimed at Cutting Administrative Duplication

Times Staff Writer

Yamaha Corp. of America, in the midst of a booming market for its musical instruments, said Thursday that it has reorganized the management team at its Buena Park headquarters and appointed a new president.

What was formerly the corporation’s largest subsidiary, Yamaha Music Corp. USA, representing 70% of its sales, was merged into the Yamaha Corp. of America effective immediately in an effort to cut administrative duplication and increase cost efficiency. The company said no jobs will be lost in the streamlining.

Other Yamaha Corp. of America operations that will remain separate subsidiaries include those involved with exporting, sporting goods and electronics. Yamaha Motor Corp. USA, will remain an independent operation.

A New President

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Masahiko Arimoto was appointed president of the newly consolidated Yamaha Corp. of America, which represents Yamaha in North, Central and South America. The company has a workforce of about 1,000 people involved in sales and manufacturing, including 450 in Buena Park.

Arimoto replaces Sam Kajimura, who has returned to Japan to help form a new electronic musical instrument products group for the parent Yamaha Corp. in Hamamatsu.

It is not the first time that Yamaha Corp. has reorganized in the Americas since it started marketing its pianos and motorcycles here in 1960.

In 1977 Yamaha Motor Corp. was spun off as a separate organization. And last year Yamaha International Corp. was divided into Yamaha Corp of America and Yamaha Music Corp. of America in a move that was just the reverse of the current restructuring.

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Market’s Getting Better

“We usually change every year and a half. It is not a static company. We move with the market,” said William Nye, Yamaha of America’s director of corporate communications.

By anyone’s account, the market has been robust and getting better every year for the musical instrument business.

“We say we are the leading music company in the world in sales of all musical instruments,” said Karl Bruhn, Yamaha Corp. of America senior vice president. He added, however, that Yamaha refuses to disclose its own sales information.

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Larry Linkin, executive vice president of the National Assn. of Music Merchants in San Diego, agreed that Yamaha probably is the sales leader among music instrument manufacturers.

Bruhn said the company has been benefiting from particularly strong sales in the last four to five years, which has seen the development of new and less expensive musical instruments such as electronic pianos and synthesizers.

“Over 50% of our business is from products that didn’t exist even five years ago,” he observed.


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