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Yamaha May Supply Motorcycle Technology to Soviet Union

March 12, 1986

TOKYO (AP) _ Yamaha Motor Co. is holding talks with the Soviet Union on supplying motorcycle technology, a company spokesman said today.

Yamaha spokesman Masahiro Shintani said the Soviet Union had approached Yamaha and expressed interest in receiving motorcycle technology and ″if their conditions fit (our interests) we will consider it favorably.″

The nationwide economic daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that Yamaha would provide technology on product development, design and assembly line procedures for a Soviet plant near Moscow. The report said the plant would start this summer, using major engine components from Japan.

The Soviet Union has invested the equivalent of $1.1 million in the project to upgrade their motorcycle production, Nikkei said.

″We have been negotiating (with the Soviet Union) but have not discussed the amount of vehicles at this stage,″ Shintani said.

The Soviet Union currenty produces about 1 million motorcycles annually. Japan produces about half of the world production of 13 million motorcyles per year.

If Yamaha supplies motorcycle technology to the Soviet Union, it will be the first time a Japanese automaker provides technology to that country, which historically has not enjoyed good relations with Japan.

Yamaha is Japan’s second largest motorcyle manufacturer after Honda Motor Co.