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 (CDF) 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 CDF, Yamaha products could move seamlessly from the assembly line to the showroom.
Yamaha's relationship with CDF is about more than money. As a major player in the power sports industry, CDF 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, CDF is a true partner to Yamaha: Paul, a motorsports enthusiast, leads a dedicated Yamaha team, many within a few minutes' drive from Yamaha's US headquarters.
By developing a close working relationship with the company, CDF has made a long-term commitment to Yamaha's success.
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