Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has started shipping the first Viking Side-by-Side vehicles from its U.S. manufacturing facility in Newnan, Georgia, and company executives recently held a special event there to celebrate the all-new vehicle and increased U.S. production.
Every Yamaha Viking distributed throughout the United States and around the world will come from Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America (YMMC). To handle the increased production, the factory has opened a second plant that is dedicated to the Viking and future SxS models.
Worldwide excitement around this all-new model and increased production was apparent at the recent YMMC ribbon cutting ceremony where a number of Yamaha executives from the U.S. and Japan offered thanks and congratulations to Yamaha employees and expressed their high expectations for Yamaha’s expanding SxS line.
Speaking at the special event were Mr. Neal Hideshima, Director, Managing Executive Officer and Chief General Manager of the Procurement Center at Yamaha Motor Company, Ltd., Japan (YMC) (also past President of YMMC); Mr. Toshi Kato, Senior Executive Officer of YMC and President of Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.; Mr. Harry Ito, President of YMMC; and Mr. Michael Chrzanowski, Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering Services at YMMC. Mr. Seiji Sawai, Senior General Manager of Recreational Vehicles Business Unit at YMC, was also present for the ribbon cutting.
“Today, we celebrate the launch of Yamaha’s newest vehicle, the Viking,” Chrzanowski said while speaking to employees during the ceremony at YMMC. “I would like to recognize the tremendous effort and teamwork by so many people to get this new product to market. Each of you has played a key role in this endeavor. Thank you for your hard work.”
YMMC is the largest employer in Newnan and has added 130 employees to staff up the dedicated SxS plant, according to Chrzanowski. The advanced manufacturing facility covers more than 850,000 square feet and includes the latest technology, equipment and procedures in motorsports manufacturing. The factory is responsible for assembling all of Yamaha’s 4x4 ATVs and SxS vehicles as well as Yamaha Golf Cars and Water Vehicles.
“The most important factor is not the facility or the equipment but the hardworking and dedicated workforce at YMMC that designs, develops and tests our products,” Chrzanowski said. “Countless hours have been spent at YMMC in preparation for this new plant and new model. In fact, in operation alone we provided more than 9,100 training hours for the assembly operators to help maintain the highest quality levels.”
The new Yamaha Viking was introduced this June and is setting a new standard in the three-person multi-purpose SxS segment. It was designed and engineered as a robust and high-capacity utility vehicle combining Yamaha’s most powerful four-wheel drive engine to date with a comfortable and confidence-inspiring three-person cab, precision steering and class-leading handling.
The first Viking models are starting to arrive at dealers this month. Standard models will come in Steel Blue, Hunter Green (with sun top), Red (with sun top) and Realtree AP HD camo (with sun top). The non-EPS models start at $11,499 MSRP while the EPS models start at $12,499 MSRP.