February 26 2009.

Yamaha will slash domestic motorcycle production 24% in 2009 to slightly over 260,000 units, the lowest output in roughly four decades, acording to The Nikkei Wednesday edition. 

Inventories have built up in the face of a historic slump in domestic demand and weak sales in such export markets as the U.S. and Europe. Stockpiles of U.S.-bound products are up 50% from normal, while inventories of goods for Europe have ballooned to twice the usual levels. Through the production cuts, the company aims to bring inventories back in line by the end of the year.

The company has already decided to close its main assembly plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, as well as upstream parts factories, for 10 days in February and March, reducing output by 13,000 units. It plans to negotiate with employees for additional work stoppages in the April-June quarter.

In addition to eliminating all non-full-time workers by the summer, Yamaha Motor will consider trimming administrative staff.

Business segments with products geared toward industrialized countries, including the outboard motor business, are projected to log operating losses of more than 50 billion yen in the year ending Dec. 31. With an eye on quickly shoring up profitability, the firm will consolidate engine operations and materials procurement.

Source: The Nikkei Moning Edition