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Yamaha reacts to 33 percent decline in sales

August 4, 2009
Filed under Features

Yamaha has announced a potential production cutback and a “workforce surplus” in wake of a significant decline in sales.

Yamaha’s net sales in its recent quarter decreased 33 percent from the year-ago sales, the company reported. That includes a nearly 24 percent drop in motorcycle sales in North America and a 51 percent drop in its overall power product sales, which includes ATVs and UTVs.

Even with these sales declines, Henio Arcangeli Jr., Yamaha’s Motorsports Group president, said the company has increased market share in certain areas. “But the best news,” Arcangeli said, “is we now feel strongly that both our and our dealer partners’ inventories are becoming more aligned with actual marketplace demand, and this will position us very strongly for the future.”

Yamaha, which has suffered a net loss through its first six months, is taking steps to return to profitability. The company said it will lower its “break even production” — the minimum amount of manufacturing required to break even in terms of earnings —  to 250,000 motorcycles and 140,000 ATVs and side-by-sides. In comparison, the company’s current manufacturing capacity is 500,000 motorcycles and 320,000 ATVs and side-by-sides.

Yamaha also has concluded it has about “about 1,700 surplus positions” worldwide, including 600 in Europe and the United States. A company press release said it plans to reduce the surplus of 1,100 positions in Japan by reallocating personnel and improving workforce efficiency. What about the workforce in North America? A Yamaha company statement said, “While we cannot predict the future, we believe that through our previous workforce reductions, attrition and the completion of our previously announced early retirement program, we will be at appropriate staffing levels by year end.”

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