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Suzuki Becomes a ``Made-in-America'' Manufacturer with Opening of Georgia ATV Plant

SEE ALSO: ATV's Are Kid Killers

    ROME, Ga.--May 31, 2002--

$30 Million Facility Will Employ 150 at Full Production and Improve
    On-Time Delivery to Suppliers Around the World

    Suzuki Motor Corp. (SMC) becomes a bonafide "made-in-America" manufacturer with today's opening of a 108,350-square-foot Suzuki Manufacturing of American Corp. (SMAC) ATV manufacturing facility in Rome, approximately 60 miles northwest of Atlanta.
    Up to 150 team members will work at the plant at full production -- with 85 percent of the workforce expected to come from within a 30-mile radius. In addition, Suzuki officials anticipate purchasing more than 50 percent of production parts from local suppliers annually.
    "Clearly, this is a great day for Suzuki, the residents of Rome and the citizens of Georgia," said Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, who helped Suzuki executives from California and Japan dedicate the new facility and christen the company's first-ever domestically made vehicle -- a 2003 Suzuki Eiger 400 ATV.
    Joining Gov. Barnes for the plant-christening ceremonies were SMC executive vice president Sokichi Nakano; SMC senior managing director Shunichi Wakuda; SMC managing director, Tsuneo Kobayashi; ASMC president and CEO Rick Suzuki; and numerous state, county and city officials.
    A $30 million joint investment in the Floyd County, Ga. business community by Brea, Calif.-based ASMC and SMC of Japan, the plant will produce Suzuki's new 400cc Eiger and 500cc Vinson ATV models.
    As the world's top ATV market, the United States will be the destination for the majority of Suzuki ATVs produced at the plant. Distributors in Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand will constitute the remainder.
    ATV-manufacturing processes completed onsite include parts receiving, welding, painting, assembly, packing, storing, shipping and quality control closely linked to Suzuki's Japan-based design engineering department. Highlights of the plant's advanced conveyor assembly line process include robotic subassembly of ATV frames, electro-coated treatment of frames, powder-coat paint and continuous, in-process quality-control inspection.
    Onsite support functions include purchasing, finance, human resources, information technology, production control and engineering. Production technicians from the shop floor to senior management will utilize Kaizen continuous improvement activities inherited from Suzuki's manufacturing plants in Japan.
    "Besides being one of the most technically advanced plants in the U.S., the new facility incorporates the best of both Japanese and American manufacturing philosophy," explained SMAC director Phil Wofford.

    About ASMC

    The motorcycle, automotive and marine divisions of American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC), with headquarters in Brea, Calif., market more than 65 products through a U.S. dealer network totaling more than 1,700 dealerships in 49 states. Suzuki began marketing motorcycles in the United States in 1963; in 1977, American Suzuki added its marine division and began marketing outboard motors.
    The automotive division of ASMC was formed in 1985. ASMC's parent corporation, Suzuki Motor Corp. (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of motorcycles, automobiles, outboard motors, small engines, power equipment, industrial machinery and prefabricated housing. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, it has 149 distributors in 190 countries.
    Journalists can access the American Suzuki media Web site at

    Note to Editors: Images of the Rome, Ga. plant are available on CD-ROM by calling Suzuki Motorcycle/ATV Public Relations at 714/996-7040, ext. 2321. Images of the 400cc Eiger and 500cc Vinson are available at