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Earthquake recovery continues for Japanese OEMs

March 18, 2011
Filed under Features

Factories of the Big Four motorcycle manufacturers in Japan continue to experience closures, though some have begun limited production.

Operations at Suzuki Motor Corp.’s Takatsuka plant, which assembles and machines motorcycle engines, will continue to be suspended through March 23. However, motorcycles will be assembled at the company’s Toyokawa plant on those days. Suzuki has donated 30 million yen to recovery efforts through the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Yamaha Motor Co. has ceased production at its five motorcycles factories and its PWC factory through March 23. The company’s power product factory will not be producing ATVs and golf carts through the 23rd, however generator production continues. Operating plans for March 24 onward will be announced on March 23. The company has donated a wide variety of items to relief efforts, including 8,000 water bottles, 170 blankets, 5,400 portable toilets, 500 generators, 5,000 pre-packaged meals and 300,000 surgical masks. Nearly 140 PAS electric motorcycles have also been dispatched to assist in the recovery efforts.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries has donated 100 million yen, 30 motorcycles, five wheel loaders and three crushing machines to the efforts. The company has not released any information regarding its operations.

Honda’s motorcycle and automotive plants continue to be closed through March 20.

To help raise donations for Japan, industry professionals Greg Hatton and Jon Bekefy have started a fundraiser called Moto for Japan at www.crowdrise.com/moto4japan. The effort began March 11, and it benefits the American Red Cross. As of Friday morning, the group had raised nearly $9,000.

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