Yamaha Closes Spanish Plant – Consolidates in France

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Yamaha recently announced that it will be closing its factory in northeastern Spain, and consolidating the production into its Saint Quintin plant in France. The move comes as a result of Yamaha feeling the pain from the dwindling global demand for motorcycles, resulting in the Spanish plant having considerable excess capacity in its production.

Located near Barcelona, Yamaha’s Spanish Palau-Solita i Plegamans facility is capable of producing 130,000 units per year, but only managed 96,000 in 2010. The plant’s closure will affect 420 jobs, and Yamaha management has already reportedly confirmed that they will be forgoing any bonuses for the first half of 2011, and will be taking a healthy pay cut (15%-30%) during the same time period.

“All over the world, and Europe in particular, there has been a prolonged fall in sales figures which forces Yahama to take steps to restructure its industrial capacity,” the company said in a press release. Concentrating production in Europe to a single factory will allow the Japanese company to better deal with the reduced demand for motorcycles in the European markets, and is a strong sign that Yamaha does not foresee a swift return for motorcycle and scooter sales in the EU for 2011.

Out of all the motorcycle manufacturers, Yamaha has been hit especially hard in the down economy, a fact the company has kept relatively close to the chest for the past two years. This recent move should help improve the company’s bottom-line, but could hamper its ability to ramp-up production in Europe if the economy rebounds swiftly.

Source: Auto Evolution