Thu, Jul 02, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Yamaha to shutter Taoyuan plant

DPA , TAIPEI

Japan’s Yamaha Corp, the world largest piano manufacturer, will shut its Taiwanese plant later this month because of high production costs, Yamaha’s agent said yesterday.

“The Taiwan Yamaha Musical Instrument Manufacturing Co (台灣山葉樂器) will close on July 25. Its 100-or-so workers will be laid off with severance pay,” a staff member from Yamaha KSH Music Co (功學社), Yamaha’s agent, said by phone.

“It is a pity because the Taiwan Yamaha plant sells the world’s best-quality Yamaha pianos at the lowest prices. It has made a great contribution to music education in Taiwan,” the staff member said.

The Yamaha Taiwan company confirmed its upcoming closure, saying it is part of Yamaha Corp’s global restructuring.

“In future, production in Taiwan will be assigned to Yamaha’s plant in Japan or other countries,” it said in a statement.

In its heyday, the Taiwan Yamaha plant produced 10,000 pianos per month for domestic sale and export, but now its makes only 1,000 per month.

“Yamaha Corp believes production costs [in Taiwan] are too high,” Tsai Chen-cheng (蔡振成), the plant’s sales manager, told the Chinese-language United Daily News.

However, Yamaha KSH Music Co will continue to sell Yamaha pianos, offer after-sales service to clients and run more than 100 Yamaha music classes, which teach piano and other musical instruments.

The Yamaha plant, located in Taoyuan County, was opened in 1969 as a joint venture between a local partner and Yamaha Corp, which has links with Yamaha Motor Corp, producer of Yamaha motorbikes.

Yamaha Corp was founded by Torakusu Yamaha in 1887 in Hamamatsu, Japan. It produced its first Yamaha piano in 1900 and by 1991 had manufactured 5 million Yamaha pianos.

There are two Yamaha plants in China and one each in Indonesia, Taiwan and the UK.

Yamaha Corp shut its piano production line in the US two years ago and plans to close its plant in the UK in October.

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