We regret to inform you that Yamaha will also end its swimming pool business

Just days after Yamaha announced it would cease snowmobile manufacturing, it has also announced that it will stop making swimming pools too. If your reaction to this news was, “Yamaha made swimming pools?” you are not alone. I had no idea either. But this isn’t a case of Yamaha being a strange firm that makes both grand pianos and motorcycles. No, the swimming pool division fell squarely within the confines of Yamaha Motor, the same company that engineered the twin-cam engines found in the Toyota 2000GT and Lexus LFA.

In fact, Yamaha Motor split off from the Yamaha Corporation in 1955 to build motorcycles. Since then, the two have operated independently despite having the same brand and logo in the marketplace. Soon after, Yamaha Motor began studying applications for a then-new material known as fiber-reinforced plastic, or FRP. By 1961 they’d built their first vehicle made of FRP, the CAT-21 motorboat. The catamaran-hulled vessel won first place in all three legs of the Tokyo-Osaka Pacific Ocean 1000km Motorboat Marathon and kicked off Yamaha’s many years in the marine craft business.

In 1974 Yamaha released its first swimming pool, made of FRP. The composite material had many advantages, such as lightness and corrosion resistance, but there was another important trait of special importance for Japan — flexibility, for resilience during earthquakes. Yamaha’s first was the 1974 Family Pool, a series of above-ground basins in varying sizes. By 1978 Yamaha was making 25m in-ground pools for schools and sports complexes.

By the following decade Japan’s Bubble Economy was in full swing and swimming became increasingly popular as a leisure activity. Water parks spread throughout the country and Yamaha was there to manufacture waters slides, poolside showers, and the famous 1985 Yamaha Stream Pool.

By the turn of the century Japan’s population was aging. Yamaha expanded its pool business to the fields of medicine, health, and education. Today Yamaha is Japan’s top manufacturer of large pools (20m or more) for educational institutions, with over 6,500 built.

Unlike the announcement for snowmobiles, the pool release didn’t really explain why Yamaha would be pulling out. It merely stated, “we have decided to withdraw from this business in order to concentrate management resources on existing businesses and new growth opportunities.” Large Japanese industrial companies typically have a few side hustles seemingly unrelated to their core businesses and Yamaha is no different. It says that it will continue to provide after-sales support for existing products. It was a long run but after 49 years you will no longer be able to take a refreshing dip in a new pool made by the same company that made your R1.

Images courtesy of Yamaha.

This post is filed under: News and
tagged: .

8 Responses to We regret to inform you that Yamaha will also end its swimming pool business

  1. Clay says:

    Does Toyota still make sailboats and houses?

  2. Ian G. says:

    I hope Yamaha never stops making 3SGTE’s for the MKII MR2 or keyboards. :/

  3. John says:

    Don’t forget almost every song on the radio got mixed with a Yamaha HS8 studio monitor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *