Georgia factory produces its 250,000th ATV
Suzuki’s ATV manufacturing facility in Rome, Ga. celebrated the production of its 250,000th ATV on March 31.
This is a year of milestones for Suzuki as 2008 marks the 25th anniversary of its production of the industry’s first four-wheeled ATV – the 1983 Suzuki LT-125. Anniversary events are scheduled throughout the summer to commemorate the landmark.
Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corp. (SMAC) opened its Rome plant in May of 2002 as the company’s only US-based manufacturing facility to produce the Eiger series of ATVs. Today, 300 SMAC employees are building ATV frames, molding plastic and assembling KingQuad 400s, 450s and 750s. More than 200 units are put together in an eight-hour shift and nearly 60,000 ATVs were produced at the facility in 2007.
A group of factory workers, local dignitaries, media and the Suzuki factory ATV race team – Team Rockstar/MSR/Suzuki/Yoshimura/Pro Taper – attended a commemorative ceremony.
“This not only commemorates the success of Suzuki’s ATV production during the last six years, but also commemorates the success of the cooperation with the community,” says SMAC’s ATV sales manager Alan Horne.
“For the last ten years, we have been fighting to save manufacturing jobs,” says Rome mayor Wright Bagby. “With the help of people like the employees of Suzuki who were on the cutting edge of helping us turn around our manufacturing situation in the South and in Rome, we were able to save jobs and continue having a higher percentage of manufacturing jobs in the community than most places in the South or probably in the country.”
Current AMA ATV Motocross Series points leader Dustin Wimmer was given the honor of riding the historic quad off the production line. Team Suzuki, factory personnel, mayor Bagby and other local government added their signatures to the red KingQuad 450 AXI 4X4.
“Congratulations to the city of Rome, Ga., and our family of employees at the Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corp. who believed in this project and made it all happen,” says Mel Harris, vice president of American Suzuki’s motorcycle/ATV division. “A quarter of a million ATVs in six short years is not only a huge accomplishment, but a clear example of Suzuki’s commitment to the ATV market. I thank everyone for their part in our continued success.”
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