Suzuki To Close Factories in February

Suzuki Motor Corp. plans to close each of its plants in Japan for several days in February in support of production cutbacks.

Sagara Plant, eight days, Feb. 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27
The 2.5 million square-foot Sagara plant assembles automobile engines and components. It employs 1,430 associates.

Iwata Plant, seven days, Feb. 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27
The 1.75 million square-foot Iwata plant assembles multi-purpose and commercial vehicles. It employs 1,650 associates.

Toyokawa Plant, Takatsuka Plant and Osuka Plant, three days, Feb. 6, 13, 20
The 839,500 square-foot Toyokawa plant assembles motorcycle and outboard motors and employs 830 associates; the 1.58 million square-foot Takatsuka facility houses the company’s head offices and assembles and machines motorcycle engines, it employs 9,820 associates; and the Osuka plant is a 592,000 square-foot foundry employing 500 associates.

Suzuki Motor Corp. wholesaled roughly 67,000 motorcycles and ATVs to its two distributors in North America from April 1 through Sept. 30, 2008. The six-month total represents a decrease of 24 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2007.

Last year Suzuki dealers told Dealernews that allocations of certain models had been cut by about 40 percent. At the dealer meeting in October, Suzuki told dealers the factory in Japan had become “conservative” in the past year, cutting shipments to protect against massive dealer inventories.

Suzuki has not yet made plans for non-operating days in March and later.

- Submitted by Guido Ebert