Takehiko (TJ) Hasegawa

DATE OF INDUCTION: February 19, 2011

CAREER SPAN: 1959–2003
AGE AT INDUCTION: 79

When Yamaha entered the snowmobile business in 1967, the visionary who headed the project was TJ Hasegawa. A veteran of Yamaha’s Racing division, Hasegawa leveraged the company’s great engineering strength to develop products that exceeded customer expectations. The 1969 SL351 – the sport’s first snowmobile with oil injection – was the first of many leading designs that reflected his influence.

At a time when hundreds of domestic snowmobile companies competed for customers, Hasegawa focused on developing lightweight and good-handling machines. This effort produced historic, back-to-back wins at the Eagle River World’s Championship race in 1971 and 1972, despite campaigning a smaller displacement engine than the competition.

Hasegawa’s policy for development was, -“Always think of customer’s needs and develop the products to exceed their expectations.” The result was snowmobiles like the famed SL, GP , GPX , SRX, SSR and Enticer series. Hasegawa was equally intent to deliver improved safety within the sport via the support of the Snowmobile Safety and Certification Committee and through cooperation and membership in International Snowmobile Industry Association.

After 10 years of snowmobile brand development and growth, Hasegawa moved to other groups within Yamaha and, in 1994, became the CEO and President of Yamaha Motor Company LTD, worldwide.