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Yamaha Announces Formation of U.S.-Based Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc.

Christian Wissmuller • Upfront • March 27, 2018

Yamaha has announced the formation of a new U.S.-based wholly owned subsidiary, Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc., which will bring together the intercompany teams that have been focused on serving the needs of guitarists worldwide.

Building on a long history as a leading guitar company, Yamaha demonstrated their commitment to the future of the global guitar market when they acquired Line 6 in 2014. As a leader in tech-forward segments of the guitar industry, Line 6 brought with it a family of digital electric guitars, amps, and effects to complement the extensive line-up of acoustic and electric guitars, basses, and amps that Yamaha has offered customers for over half a century.

Since the acquisition, the growing collaboration between the two complementary brands led to the formation of a dedicated Guitar Division headquartered in Japan at Yamaha Corporation in April 2017, with Line 6, Inc. being included within this division. Shoji Mita, based in Japan, and Marcus Ryle, based in the U.S., were named co-general managers of this new division. Throughout 2017, this new formation led to expanded collaboration in strategy, development, sales, marketing, and artist relations, including the relocation of Yamaha Artist Services, Los Angeles to the same California campus as Line 6.

With the formation of Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc. (YGG), effective April 1, 2018, the natural evolution of these collaborative efforts becomes formalized within one multi-brand organization, with a dedicated team committed to producing and marketing the very best products and services for guitarists under both the Yamaha and Line 6 brands. The YGG U.S. headquarters will also serve as the strategic base for Yamaha guitar business worldwide. In addition to their current roles as Guitar Division GMs, Marcus Ryle and Shoji Mita will serve as co-presidents of YGG, and Mr. Mita will relocate to the U.S. YGG and the Japan-based Guitar Division team members will work together as one under common leadership.

“We are enthusiastic about bringing this multi-brand entity together under one organizational roof. This will better enable our team members to take a customer-driven approach to how both brands develop products and serve their customers”, said Shoji Mita, co-president, Yamaha Guitar Group. “Our centralized guitar focus will also help us to work with each of our Yamaha and Line 6 U.S. and international distribution partners, to ensure that we can meet the needs of their markets effectively.”

“Since Line 6 joined the Yamaha family four years ago, the energy between the two brands and the people who drive them has continued to build,” added Marcus Ryle, co-president, Yamaha Guitar Group and co-founder of Line 6. “It became apparent that we could further this momentum by formally unifying the teams and expanding the potential for both brands. We’re excited to further serve the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s guitarists.”

Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc. will be headquartered at the Calabasas, California, campus where Line 6 and Yamaha Artist Services, Los Angeles have been located. Although an independent U.S. entity, YGG will be working closely with Yamaha Corporation of America, and all other Yamaha sales subsidiaries around the world, to continue providing retail partners and end users with the excellence that Yamaha has been known for worldwide. 

Photos: Yamaha Guitar Group co-presidents Marcus Ryle and Shoji Mita

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