February 1960, New York---In the freezing cold, several men wearing overalls were working flat-out loading transistor radios onto trucks. Sony's founder Akio Morita was among them.
Sony established its wholly-owned subsidiary Sony Corporation of America (SONAM) on February 15, 1960. As the popularity of transistor radios increased in the US, Sony believed its brand would reach new heights if it created its own sales network in this huge market, and got involved with everything from sales to after service. The scene described above was an operation to collect 30,000 transistor radios from the warehouse of an agent with which it had concluded a contract up until that time. The operation took from the morning of one day to 4:00 am the next. The collected radios filled several trucks. In a manner of speaking, this was Sony America's first project.
The company set up its head office at 514 Broadway. Sony itself had only been established a dozen or so years prior, and had opened a liaison office in New York for only two and a half years. Even though Akio Morita thought it was a little early to be advancing into the US, he made the decision in the belief that one had to seize good opportunities oneself.
Two years later, in 1962, Sony opened its showroom on Fifth Avenue, New York. The place flourished, with throngs of several thousand people daily. Both the Rising Sun and the Stars and Stripes fluttered at the showroom's entrance, as if to celebrate the company's success in advancing into the US.