In this AJC file photo from 2000, Japanese executives and their American counterparts busted a keg of saki at groundbreaking ceremonies for the plant expansion at Yamaha Motor Manufacturing in Newnan. STAFF PHOTO BY W.A. BRIDGES JR.

Yamaha Motor’s 1,500 Newnan workers idled by coronavirus ripple effects

About 1,500 workers at a Yamaha Motor Corporation assembly plant in Newnan are being idled as the company pauses its manufacturing throughout the nation in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

All the Newnan workers will be paid as if they worked during the slated two-week shutdown, company spokesman Bob Starr said Tuesday. They represent the bulk of about 2,000 Yamaha manufacturing workers who will be affected by the shutdowns. The company’s six other U.S. facilities are in Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Indiana, Florida and Wisconsin.

“This step is being taken with the factories to protect the health and safety of all team members, their families and our local communities,” Starr said.

The length of the shutdown will continue to be evaluated, Starr said. The Newnan plant assembles most of the company’s ATV, WaveRunner, Side-by-Side vehicles and Golf Cars intended for U.S. markets.

Most of the company’s U.S. office workers, including 150 based in Marietta and 250 in Kennesaw, are being asked to telework.

Duluth-based AGCO, one of the world’s biggest makers of farm equipment, said Monday ripple effects of the COVID-19 spread have disrupted its production in Europe and it expects the challenges to spread to other regions. And Kia Motors last week briefly halted production at its sprawling Georgia assembly plant, citing supply chain issues. Kia did not specify whether the problems were related to the coronavirus, which has sparked shutdowns and slowdowns around the world.

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