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Dec 17, 2001

Updated Post: Sources In Japan Deny Kawasaki-Suzuki Merger Likely

Knowledgeable sources in Japan have denied news reports that Kawasaki and Suzuki are planning to spin off and merge their motorcycle divisions.<BR><BR>According to the sources, the two companies have just now started to talk about co-producing a single model, with no discussions of merging motorcycle operations.<BR><BR>The news reports were based on comments made by Kawasaki Heavy Industries President Masamoto Tazaki, who was quoted by Bloomberg Financial Services as saying "It's extremely likely that we will set up a joint venture," and that the merged companies would produce motorcycles under a new brand name instead of under the existing Kawasaki or Suzuki brands.<BR><BR>Tazaki at one time was President of Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A.<BR><BR>The news report had created concern among employees of the two companies worldwide.<BR><BR>Kawasaki Motors Corporation U.S.A. has issued a statement to employees that basically says that Kawasaki Motors Corporation executives know nothing about the news report.<BR><BR>"It was news to us," said one Kawasaki Motors Corp. manager when asked about the report.<BR><BR>Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. issued the following statement to its dealers:<BR><BR>As all of our dealers and employees know, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corp. announced an alliance on August that will see the two independent brands sharing certain production platforms and related sourcing. The alliance is also intended to allow for specific product co-development.<BR><BR>A recent news item that was carried by the Tokyo office of a news service refers to the possibility of a broadened approach to the already announced alliance. As of this date, KMC has no details of any potentially expanded arrangements with Suzuki.<BR><BR>We are extremely pleased with the progress that is being made in the initial stages of the formally announced alliance. In the coming year, Kawasaki dealers will benefit greatly from a significant increase in the number of motorcycle and ATV models that you will be able to offer to the public. The details of this will be forthcoming as soon as all arrangements are finalized. You can be assured, however, that these additions to your product line-up will make your dealership a "must visit" for anyone seeking two or four-wheel "Good Times."<BR><BR>This has been a very good sales year. As the efforts of the alliance begin to materialize, you can expect to build on those sales successes.<BR><BR>Of course, any additional information that we receive in regards to the previously mentioned news item will be passed along to everyone concerned.<BR><BR>KAWASAKI MOTORS CORP., U.S.A.