A Pioneer in Automotive Wire Harnesses
Yazaki’s operations date back to 1929 when, Sadami Yazaki began selling wire harnesses for automobiles. Born in Nagano in 1909, Sadami Yazaki had been selling electric wires for a trading company for five years before founding Mitsuya Electric Wires in 1929 with his brother Yoshimi Yazaki to sell the automotive wire harnesses.
In 1935, due to changes in governmental regulations, Japanese companies, such as Toyota and Nissan, were allowed to start automotive production in Japan. Soon after, in 1939, Sadami Yazaki expanded the business to produce wiring harnesses, and two years later, in 1941, Yazaki Electric Wire Industrial Co. Ltd. was established with about 70 employees.
During World War II, Yazaki’s business suffered severe damage. Both its corporate headquarters in Tokyo and its first plant were burned down. However, Yazaki quickly resumed production and due to Japan’s remarkable post-war recovery, Yazaki received an enormous number of orders for electric wires.
Bold Moves Drive Growth
In 1949, however, Sadami Yazaki made a bold and important strategic decision, which ultimately resulted in the company becoming the global leader in the automotive wire harness business. Anticipating the bright future of the automotive industry, he decided that Yazaki would focus on the production of automotive wire harnesses and stop production of general electric wire. As a result, Yazaki’s automotive wire harness business began to grow rapidly. This growth intensified when the company started producing copper in-house in 1957, enabling it to obtain sufficient amounts of the material it needed to produce wire harnesses. With its vertically integrated value chain, Yazaki became number one in the Japanese domestic wire harness market. Continuous internal and external process improvements went on to make Yazaki a first-class supplier on the world market. Later, Yazaki would resume the production of electric wires since it was able to obtain sufficient copper from its in-house production.
In 1950, Yazaki started producing automotive meters and Yazaki Meter Company was established. Yazaki then gradually diversified its business further in the automotive sector, including products such as connectors, junction blocks and fiber optics.
The competence and technologies developed by the automotive meter business were later used to develop meters and various types of other equipment for the city gas industry. In 1974, Yazaki developed the world’s first solar-powered energy generation system. Since then the company has developed and provided a large number of products that support the supply and utilization of various energy sources, such as electricity transmission cables, gas security systems, air-conditioning equipment and solar powered systems. As a result, Yazaki began to provide safe and environmentally