Yamaha Motor

How can mobility enhance the well-being of people, cities, and societies? Through a year-long collaboration, we helped Yamaha Motor take the first step in their new mobility service business, from creating the future strategy to putting it into action.

Yamaha Motor, a mobility manufacturer that aims to be a humanity-centred service provider, intends to develop various mobility services to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They approach this mission from the smallest unit of society, the urban community. Yamaha Motor utilises a new type of mobility called ‘Low-Speed Mobilities’, which are much slower than motorbikes, electrically powered, and more humanity-friendly. LSMs, by their movability, facilitate placemaking in the city, encourage people to go out and gather for various activities, and as a result, help to strengthen local communities.

Yamaha Motor had already started several mobility service initiatives. Still, they needed to define their service as a business and acquire customers in the broader context of community development. It was necessary to visualise the overall picture of the future services and clarify how to act. Additionally, they wanted to test the value of their service in a real urban setting, making it their first model case.

After defining the vision, value proposition, and frameworks for the mobility service, we materialised them with multiple user stories, stakeholder maps, and roadmaps. Yamaha Motor used these learnings in an actual city, Kamakura, a historical and cultural city with a population of 170,000, located an hour's train ride from central Tokyo.

Yamaha Motor set up a community hub as their base and conducted a PoC for a limited period of 4 months. We assisted them in aligning with local stakeholders by conducting interviews and facilitating co-creation sessions. In the end, we designed an employee experience for Yamaha Motor that activates their creativity in sustaining future mobility services and returning the result of their creation to the company, cities, and societies.

At the end of the PoC, Yamaha Motor successfully built a list of a wide range of local partners with whom they could continue developing several initiatives in Kamakura. We facilitated alignment with external local stakeholders and internal core members by closely being a part of their team. While materialising the service experience, we also helped them create a vision for the future, enabling them to continue their business in an exploratory but directed manner.

‘Designit's contribution over the course of one year covered a wide range of areas, from strategy to experience design, allowing us to engage with stakeholders while holding hypotheses. As a manufacturing company, we were not familiar with the area of community development. However, Designit's visualisation of our activities from a user experience perspective helped us establish diverse relationships for co-creation and continue to develop them further. This is a crucial role that design should play in the co-creation of social value.’

Mizuho Sakakibara

Frontier Design Div. | Creative Center | Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.



Yamaha Motor


Project team

Hanae Shimizu

Xiaohui Lin

Tomoe Ishida