Yamaha shifts ATV production to Georgia plant

Swarmed by a flank of local dignitaries and government officials at the Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America headquarters in Newnan, Ga., Yamaha Motor Corp., USA announced on Wednesday the transfer of production of Yamaha ATVs from Japan to the Georgia plant.

The first production run of new ATV models transferred from production facilities in Japan will take place this month at the Newnan factory. On what U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) deemed a “Chamber of Commerce” sun-soaked day, Toshi Kato, president of Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, relayed the importance of the production shift.

“I have been president of Yamaha US for only six months, however in this short time, I have already had the pleasure to travel to many locations throughout the country, including a recent turkey hunt in the neighboring state of Alabama,” Kato said. “Unfortunately, I was not so successful on the hunt, but was able to gain an even deeper appreciation and respect for the American outdoorsman and to see just how important Yamaha ATVs are for their lifestyle. The ATV business has been a solid cornerstone of Yamaha’s product choice for American consumers for over 30 years, and in spite of the recent economic downturn, this market continues to be a vitally important one to both our customers and our business. The Untied States is by far the largest and most important market for Yamaha ATVs in the world. That is why this facility is so important to our future.”

When complete, the production transfer could add 200 or more American jobs at Yamaha’s U.S. factory as well as additional jobs at the 125 North American parts supplier companies. The specific ATV models will be announced on June 8 as part of Yamaha’s worldwide unveiling of select 2012 model year products.

Yamaha’s ATV production transfer is a long-term strategy that will culminate in bringing the great majority of Yamaha’s worldwide ATV manufacturing to YMMC by 2013.  The company has invested more than $250 million into the factory over the past 10 years creating a state-of-the-art facility and ensuring top quality products are built in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

“This production transfer shows Yamaha’s commitment to this facility and the U.S. motorsports market – the world’s largest ATV market,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr., Yamaha Motorsports president. “Manufacturing ATVs in Georgia will allow Yamaha to respond more quickly to its customers’ demands while streamlining its supply chain and distribution processes. It is a strategic move that will benefit the company, employees, dealer partners and customers as well as the local Newnan community and more than 100 U.S. parts supplier businesses.”

The company also unveiled a new “Assembled in U.S.A.” logo to illustrate its pride in U.S. manufacturing.

Read more about the Yamaha ATV production transfer to Georgia in the June 13 edition of Powersports Business.

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