Kawasaki Revs Up Production with $200M Expansion

The move will create 550 new jobs.

Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing wants to increase production of jet skis, ATVs and rail car products in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

This week, the company announced a $200 million investment in the plant to make it happen over the next 18 months.  

The move will create 550 new jobs and increase the number of assembly, paint and welding lines at the facility. The Kawasaki Heavy Industries subsidiary currently employs 2,400 people in the area.

The investment will also include more automation, which the company says is the result of low unemployment in the area. 

The expansion is fueled by increased consumer demand, an attempt to gain market share in the powersports industry and a $1.45 billion contract to make subway cars for the New York City transit authority, according to the Lincoln Journal Star

In 1974, the assembly plant opened as Kawasaki's first motorcycle plant in America. The first bike, a royal blue KZ400 parallel twin motorcycle, rolled off the line January 22, 1975.

The bike was the first Kawasaki vehicle and the first Japanese vehicle produced in the United States, according to Cycle World

Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing incorporated in 1981 and took over the Lincoln facility to manufacture powersports products, and assemble robotic equipment and rail cars. 

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