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Yazaki History: 50 Years in the United States
December 2, 2016

Although the Yazaki Group is celebrating its 75th anniversary, Yazaki is also celebrating 50 years since it began operations in the United States.

When American Yazaki Corporation (AYC) first entered the US market in 1966 with a location in Chicago, Illinois, the perception of Japanese products was poor. There were no Japanese cars on the streets, and very few Japanese companies – let alone Japanese manufacturers – did business in the American market.

With $50,000 in capital supplied by Yazaki Corporation and a workforce of seven people, AYC was a small operation whose business consisted solely of sales for:

1.Electric wires and cables

2.Instruments and gauges

3.Automotive parts

4.Synthetic resin products and electric devices

At this point in time, Yazaki had not yet received any orders from the Big Three automakers (GM, Chrysler, and Ford) to do business. In order to become a thriving company, AYC was tasked with the mission to have its technology tested and approved for sales of tachometers to Ford. It took two long and arduous years before Yazaki’s technology was finally approved and negotiations for orders took place. However, at the very last minute, all discussion was put to a halt; a change in product specifications meant that the technology AYC invested so much into had essentially become useless. It was a debilitating event for the new branch. But when an employee expressed their sheer frustration, Sadami Yazaki took a deep breath and offered his console, “Don’t cry. That happens in business sometimes.”

In the present day, American Yazaki Corporation (AYC) has grown to become Yazaki North and Central America (YNCA). We’ve expanded from having seven employees in Chicago, to now having over 74,000 employees across North, Central, and South America. Since that first failed business transaction, YNCA has grown to become a tier-one company whose products are used by virtually every major automotive supplier in the world. 

It just goes to show that past and present Yazaki employees are relentless in their pursuit of bettering the company. If Sadami could see how much we’ve accomplished in the past 75 years, we’re sure he would be proud. To this day, the practice of having employees who persevere, even if they face major disadvantages, is a Yazaki tradition that remains strong.

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