The production lines shut down and team members at the Suzuki Manufacturing facility, 1520 Technology Parkway, lined up for steaks, baked potatoes and cake to celebrate the ATV makers 10th anniversary in Rome.

Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corporation (SMAC) President Noboyuki Yamane thanked the employees, vendors and dealers for their hard work that has resulted in the sale of 311,537 four-wheel vehicles over the past decade.

The value of those ATVs was set at $1.4 billion.

Yamane also thanked his employees for their dedication to safety, as the company has not had a single accident where an employee had to miss a days work in its entire production run over the last ten years.

“I want to keep this forever,” Yamane said.

Yamane reported to his employees that management has set a goal of producing 23,000 units in Rome this year, an average of 96 ATVs per day.

Masashi Tanaka, executive vice president for American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), came from Brea, California to tell the employees that the economic situation is getting better.

“The last two weeks I have been visiting East Coast dealers and everybody is wanting more product, especially ATVs,” Tanaka said. “Maybe we are going to enjoy some demand for the coming months, April and may and we are going to push your product in the U.S.A.”

Rod Lopusnak, the U.S. sales manager, ASMC, told the plant workers that of the 311,537 four-wheelers manufactured at the Rome plant, more than 260,000 have been solid in the U.S.

“The last two years have been very difficult on Suzuki and the whole U.S. economy, but the power sports business in general has been challenged like never before,” Lopusnak said.

Lopusnak said that thanks to the emphasis on quality that has been instilled in the Rome workforce that Suzuki has become a class leader in virtually every product category.

“We’re the only manufacturer today that every model is fuel injected,” Lopusnak said. “That gives us a huge advantage.”

Phil Cline, who has been employed at the Suzuki plant since April of 2002, told his fellow employees that he has seen many changes in the past nine years.

“To everyone here, if you have not had a chance to ride our product, you really need to because we really do make a good product,” Cline said.

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