The two-wheels is a critical activity in the nation. This is not the motorcycle enthusiast who said it is the government. During the confinement, he has allowed the dealers to stay in business for that caregivers, in particular, there are a meccano set for their scooter or motorcycle. To the extent that the mechanical shops and commercial activities are often intertwined, most of the concessions Yamaha, among others, have remained open since the 17th of march. "There has been a period of blur at the beginning because, even if we were in the activity, many of our staff have remained at home, for personal reasons, tells the story of Vincent Thommeret, the boss of Yamaha France. At the lowest, only 40 % of our concessions were open, a number that is mounted as to 80% with the implementation of gestures barriers. "
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The period, in spite of everything, was dealt a very bad blow to sales : in April, a month in the general pomp and circumstance, the registrations of two-wheelers declined sharply at Yamaha of 80% compared to last year. "It's a bit like if two months of sales had been erased," says Vincent Thommeret.
Some 500 employees on partial unemployment
The few sales were able to be provided thanks to stocks from the japanese manufacturer. But the production of two-wheelers in France has also stopped. She is covered, for 30 % of sales in the French factory MBK in Saint-Quentin, in the Aisne. Usually, 70 000 scooters and motorcycles of Yamaha brand (XMax, 700 Tenere and Plot, etc) come out each year. From march 16, the plant switches off. The usual markets (France, but also Italy, Spain, Germany, Uk) are no longer supplied. The 550 employees are in majority placed in partial unemployment, temporary workers to remain in their homes and some administrative services to ensure their mission at home. Again, this is a significant setback for the plant, as it rotates in general at full throttle from February to July.
On April 27, the production is relaunched. As in all factories in the country, the management, assisted by the UIMM (federation of metalworkers), establishes health rules. They do not pose great difficulties for the jobs posted, such as welding or painting : the workers are static, they do not melt, or very little, to others. The gestures barriers are therefore easy to implement. It is different for the two assembly lines, where operators must move and work near their colleagues. "We've ensured that the fewest possible people can cross over," explains François Mazure, director general of the plant.
for this purpose, a rotation is set up for the two assembly lines (one for scooters, one for motorcycles) : on the one, the operators are now working from 4 o'clock in the morning, at noon, on the other, from 13: 20 to 20: 30. To compensate for this lengthening of the time slots (up until then, the day for the two lines started at 7 a.m. and finish at 16: 30), the management of the factory and grant of financial compensation. Besides, the teams are reduced from 50 to 25 employees per chain, in order to adapt the production to the falling demand.
The two-wheelers, a mode of locomotion of the future ?
The direction of providing each employee two protective masks daily. Those who work in face-to-face have the right, in addition to a visor. In contrast to the public debates between experts, protective equipment have never caused backwater at Yamaha. "From the beginning, the cause was to be heard : we knew that the masks were effective," said Francois Mazure. It is true that the shareholders are japanese, the use of this face shield is easy at Yamaha. "It is a bit of a bicultural, testifies to the director of the factory. The wearing of the mask as the social distancing that they do not pose any difficulty to us. "
The factory MBK in Saint-Quentin, is ready to mount into power. "We will see how will react the market," observes François Mazure. The boss of Yamaha France, Vincent Thommeret, there was little doubt : the demand will, because the scooter and motorcycle are common means of transportation for the future. "Today, we hear mostly of the bike, but as soon as the distance exceeds 10 kilometers, the powered two-wheeler has its place ", argues Vincent Thommeret. Yamaha as for all constructors, it is hoped that the two-wheeler will be an essential good to the nation as much after the containment as it has been for...
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