Yamaha joins KTM and other motorcycle manufacturers in Europe as they close two manufacturing facilities in response to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is sweeping the world.
The two manufacturing facilities which will temporarily cease production are located in Italy and France; two European countries with high numbers of COVID-19-positive patients.
Production at the Motori Minarelli engine factory in Calderara di Reno, Italy, and the MBK Industrie assembly plant in Saint-Quentin, France will be halted with immediate effect. Both facilities will remain closed until the 22nd March, after which the situation will be reviewed on a weekly basis.
The decision to temporarily close the two facilities was made for the wellbeing and peace of mind of the workforce in Italy and France, both countries where social distancing is a key component of the government's strategy to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Yamaha Motor Europe is working following authorities' directives in Italy and France to ensure that employees at both facilities are not disadvantaged financially as a result of the temporary closures.
"The health of our employees and our social responsibility are our priorities at this stage, which is why we took the decision to suspend production at these two facilities in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic," explained Eric de Seynes, President, Chief Executive Officer of Yamaha Motor Europe. "We also value highly the skills and commitment of a workforce that has shown tremendous loyalty to Yamaha, but now face an unprecedented situation outside of the workplace. For their peace of mind, we are working to ensure that no employee will lose out financially between now and the return to a stable situation both in Italy and France."
Just last week, MotoPinas.com reported that certain models of Yamaha motorcycles might be delayed, particularly the much-awaited XSR 155 due to lockdown and quarantine protocols imposed by numerous ASEAN countries to combat the spread of COVID-19. The trouble was not isolated to Yamaha, as different motorcycle manufacturers around the world have also implemented the same measures, as the coronavirus becomes a major threat not only to the people but also to the world economy.