Yamaha plans expansion in Tennessee

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Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing USA announced Monday that it will buy a building adjacent to its Tennessee facility and add 150 jobs after a $17.7 million expansion.

The new production site should be operational by the end of 2015 and boatbuilding should begin in mid- to late-2016, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

"Having just completed a plant expansion in 2013, we are excited to continue to invest and grow our production operation in Monroe County," general manager Mike Fishback said in a statement, according to the report. "We have one of the most innovative boat manufacturing facilities in the world, which has enabled Yamaha boats to continue to be the best-selling 16-foot to 25-foot family runabout boats in the industry."

The new facility will add more than 36,000 square feet of production and office space to Yamaha’s facility on Tellico Lake near Vonore.

"Our regional economy will greatly benefit from the new jobs being created," Monroe County Mayor and Tellico Reservoir Development Agency board member Tim Yates said.

The Yamaha Marine Group, a subisdiary of Yamaha Motors, has put a strong anchor in the Southeast since the company moved its headquarters 15 years ago from Southern California to Kennesaw, Ga. Yamaha also has a test facility on the Tennessee River in Bridgeport, Ala.

Yamaha Marine Group has been headed for the last four years by Rhea County, Tenn., native Ben Speciale.

"When you do testing, you want stability," Speciale told Edge magazine, a monthly business publication produced by the Times Free Press. "Primarily we like this area because of the stability of the water."

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