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Yamaha MotorsYamaha Motor Company announced recently that their European operations will once again endure a factory closure, this time in Spain. The Japanese company has said that up to 80% of the jobs at the plant will be affected by the shuttering. In 2009, Yamaha closed their Italian plant as a direct result of the market slowdown which resulted from the global economic recession, and the motivation is the same in this situation.

Principles at Yamaha do not see a quick recovery in the making, so the decision was made to reorganize European operations in order to reflect the new normal. In 2010, the Spanish factory only produced 70,000 of a possible 130,000 unit capacity of 50 – 660cc motorcycles. Most of the products from this factory are

Yamaha MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo

destined for the European market which, for Yamaha, witnessed a 20% decline in sales for 2010. That meant a ¥7 billion (~US$85.5 million) loss to the company.

The Barcelona production line will loose 410 of 500 jobs with the balance relocating to the French factory. The consolidation should save Yamaha money, but that does little to help those joining the unemployed. It is hoped that recent indicators of an improving Euro-zone market and some incredibly well-designed new models will bring more customers to the tuning-fork marque.

A significant run at championships in racing over the past two seasons has not been enough, but we can hope that it is a delayed apex for Yamaha’s fortunes. Maybe they will be able to hire back some of those laid-off employees eventually…

Courtesy of

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