The company Yanmar was founded by Magokichi Yamaoka back in 1912. At that time the firm was called Yamaoka Hatsudoki Kosakusho and started with the production of gas engines. In 1920 an oil engine with upright cylinders for the use at farming was developed. One year later the first horizontal oil engine was constructed and the brand name Yanmar was assumed. 1925 an oil engine for the use on fishing boats followed.
Five years later the first upright two-stroke-diesel engine with 5 hp emerged. 1933 at the 23rd of December with the HB-model the first commercial usable diesel engine was brought to market. The small engine had between 5 and 6 hp. Three years later the factory in Amagasaki (Japan) was launched. In 1937 the essential company philosophy was embossed: „Saving fuel is a service to mankind.“ One year later the company was priced by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII) for its research at the combustion engine sector. 1942 the plant in Nagahama opened its gates.
After the manufacturing facilities were heavily damaged in the Second World War, the production started again under the firm name Kanzaki Kokykoki MFG. Co., LTD in 1947. 1949 the Nagahara-plant opened in Japan and started with the fabrication of parts for the constructing of injection pumps for diesel engines. Two years later the company founder Kosakusho got the medal on the blue ribbon by the Japanese government.
In 1952 the company got its today´s firm name Yanmar Diesel Engine Co., Ltd. In the same year with the K1 the worlds smallest, upright, water-cooled four-stroke-diesel engine with 1,5-2 hp was brought to market. Three years later the company got the diesel gold medal by the German inventor's association (DEV). 1957 the Cross of Merit followed and a Japanese stonegarden was donated to the town Augsburg for the remembrance of Dr. Rudolph Diesel. In the same year the Yanmar Diesel Do Brasil LTDA. was founded in Brasilia, to represent the firms interests in South America. In 1960 a branch opened in Omori and 1961 the Osaka main office followed. Also, the concerns branch Yanmar Agricultural Equipment Co., Ltd. was established, to take care for the sector agricultural machines. 1962 in Singapore the first service station outside of Japan opened. At the same time the company founder died and Yasuhito Yamaoka became his successor. But he only stood president for one year, till he met his maker, too and Tadao Yamaoka assumed the chairmanship.
1966 the second service station outside of Japan was established in Thailand. 1967 a branch office in Malaysia followed and with the HD5 Bulldozer the first construction machine was built and sold. Also in Kinomoto (Japan) a second branch opened its gates. One year later Yanmar was prized with the Deming Prize.
1972 the subsidiary companies P.T. Yanmar Diesel Indonesia, Yanmar Sangyo Co. Ltd. and Yanmar Shipbuilding & Engineering Co., Ltd. were founded. 1975 the founding of the P.T. Yanmar Agricultural Machinery Manufacturing Indonesia followed. Since 1976 the company was also represented in Europe through a service station in the Netherlands. 1977 the research and development centre in Kyoto (Japan) was founded. In the same year they reached an agreement with John Deere for the export of tractors.
1981 in the USA the first base on the North American continent was arranged. In the same year the 5 millionth horizontal water-cooled diesel engine was produced. 1982 Yanmar started the production of gas turbines. Two years later the fabrication of outboard engines followed. At this time also Ammann became importer for Yanmar-products. 1988 with the Yanmar Marine Farm in Japan, the Yanmar S.P. Co., Ltd. in Thailand, as well as with the Yanmar Europe B.V. and the Yanmar International Europe B.V. in the Netherlands further company foundations followed. One year later with the founding of the Ammann-Yanmar S.A. at the French Sait-Dizier a joint venture with Ammann was reached. The company became producer of mini excavators, midi excavators, wheel and crawler-type loaders, as well as exclusive importer of Yanmar-products for the European market. At the same time the company restored its influence in the USA and Asia, by applying the Tuff Torq Corporation and the Yanmar Asia Corporation PTE. LTD..
At the beginning of the 90s Yanmar struggled for the attainment of the ISO 9001 certification. 1992 the 10 millionth diesel engine left the assembly line. 1993 with the ViO50 the worlds first short stern-mini excavator was launched. 1995 a joint venture with Cagiva resulted in the founding of Yanmar Cagiva S.p.A. and one year later the new plant in Biwa (Japan) opened its gates. 1998 Takehito Yamaoka became new president of the Yanmar-concern. At the same time the Yanmar Manufacturing America Corporation was founded. In the same year the company received further Awards, namely the ISO 14001 certification for all small-power motor plants through the Japan Quality Assurance Association (JQA) as well as the marine diesel engine Nox certification through the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 1999 the Yanmar Agricultural Equipment Co., Ltd. factory opened its gates in China.
At the turn of the millennium the research and development centre was established in Maibara (Japan). 2001 further firm foundations followed: The P.T. Ykt Gear Indonesia and the Transaxle Manufacturing of America Corporation were launched. One year later the company assumed the name Yanmar Co., Ltd.. 2003 the establishment of the Yanmar Construction Equipment Co., Ltd. in Japan followed, as well as founding of the Yanmar Engine Co. Ltd. (Shanghai) and the Shandong Shifeng Yanmar Engine Co. Ltd. in China. One year later the Yanmar Construction Equipment Co., Ltd. in Japan saw the light of day. At the same time the Yanmar (U.S.A.), Inc. and the Yanmar Diesel America Corporation merged to the Yanmar America Corporation. 2005 the foundation of the Yanmar Co. Ltd. - India Representative Office followed, as well as the introduction of a new brand mark combined with a new mission statement. Since this time Yanmar also held 12 % of the concern International Tractors Limited. 2006 in Brasilia the Yanmar South America Industria de Maquinas Ltda. was founded. 2007 the Yanmar Co., Ltd. - Moscow Representative Office in Russia and the Yanmar Kota Kinabalu R&D Center SDN. BHD. in Malaysia were founded. One year later the Kobe Center Yanmar Logistics Service Co. Ltd. was established. 2009 the Yanmar Co., Ltd. - UK Representative Office in Great Britain followed and 2010 the Yanmar Agricultural Innovation Co., Ltd. in Japan. In the same year the Ammann-Yanmar S.A. became a hundred per cent subsidiary of the Yanmar Construction Equipment Co., Ltd. and assumed the name Yanmar Construction Equipment Europe S.A.S..
2011 there were company foundations in Indonesia (PT. Yanmar Indonesia), India (Yanmar India Private Limited) and Italy (Yanmar R&D Europe S.R.L.). 2012 Yanmar celebrated its centennially existence. The honorary chairman Tadao Yamaoka died one year later and didn´t experienced the opening of the Yanmar museum in Japan.
2013 the Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd. was founded and also the Yanmar Co., Ltd. Global Human Development Institute opened. Meanwhile, in Can Tho City (Vietnam) a Representative Office of Yanmar Co., Ltd. was arranged. Furthermore, the Yanmar Agricultural Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. merged with the Seirei Industry Co., Ltd.. 2014 a consolidation between the Hokuto Yanmar Co. Ltd. and the Yanmar Agricultural Equipment Sales Co. Ltd. to the Yanmar Agri Japan Co., Ltd. followed. In Japan also the Yanmar Symbiosis Co., Ltd. was arranged and the new main office in Osaka – the Yanmar Flying-Y Building – was delivered to its determination. Further company foundations took place in Russia (Yanmar Rus LLC), Vietnam (Yanmar Agricultural Machinery Vietnam Co., LTD.), Indonesia (Yanmar Agricultural Research Institute – IPB) and India (Yanmar Coromandel Agrisolutions Private Limited). 2016 the European compact construction maschines business of the Terex-concern was assumed by Yanmar.