Kawasaki Offers Buyouts to 320 Employees

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Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing (KMM) has offered buyouts to 320 workers in Lincoln, Neb. Employees at the plant have been working short weeks this year, and the company says it will need to terminate some workers if the buyouts are not accepted.

Kawasaki was the first vehicle manufacturer from Japan to open a manufacturing plant in the United States, and now operates six businesses in the U.S., two of which pertain to consumer products: Kawasaki Motor Corp USA (KMC), the sales unit, and Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. USA (KMM), the production unit.

KMM, a sister company and supplier to Irvine, Calif.-based KMC, has operations in Lincoln and Maryville, Mo. KMM builds all of Kawasaki's ATVs, Jet Ski personal watercraft, and Mule and Teryx utility vehicles.

The plant in Lincoln manufactures about 120,000 ATVs, Teryx, Mule and personal watercraft each year. The facility, located on 335 acres, opened in 1974 as a 286,000 sq. ft. plant. It now takes up nearly 1.3 million sq. ft. and employs nearly 1,000 workers.

There are four vehicle production lines. Each production line is capable of mixed model production. Production schedules come monthly from KMC.

KMM also supplies wheels made in Lincoln to BRP, Honda, Polaris and Suzuki.

—Submitted by Guido Ebert