This week the first of 3 planned visits during May to the Yanmar facilities in France took place.
Led by A&Y key account manager Peter Barfield this trip was made up by our dealers and customers from the North and Scotland; Ness Plant, Chris Knight Plant Sales and Relentless Plant Services.
Having all arrived from across the country (some taking longer routes than others...) and battling through Parisian rush hour, the group enjoyed some traditional French cuisine before an 'early night' to be ready to travel to Yanmar's marketing and sales office in Reims.
The day in the office was run by a familiar face, that of Mr Bart Verstraete, the Yanmar area sales manager for the UK and Ireland.
Bart ran through a history of Yanmar, along with information on the whole construction ranges, future Yanmar plans and many discussions about the machines and peoples needs were had.
The group were also introduced to key features on the Yanmar products such as VIPPS and VICTAS. The President of Yanmar Jean-Marc Reynaud dropped into the meeting as well and took the time to speak to dealers and customers alike.
A very informative tour of the Lanson Champagne house and then a visit to the Reims Cathedral was taken before yet more traditional French food and wine was enjoyed. As the heavens opened the tour party headed back to the hotel in preparation of the early morning bus to the Yanmar factory in St Dizier.
Once everyone had donned the very fetching hard hats and protective shoe coverings we were shown around the factory, yard and parts departments. Bart was joined by his colleague Manuel and they showed each facet of the factory and how the machines come together. It was interesting to view the production line and how each part is assembled to create the machines.
Yanmar manufacture their excavators from SV16 through to the ViO57 at this facility in St Dizier so it was good to see the similarities and differences between the creation of 2 and 5 tonne excavator for example.
Dealers and customers enjoyed getting more 'hands on' with the machinery and taking an up close look. It was commented on numerous times how good the build quality and finish was and that lots of effort had gone into research and development of the new machines in particular.
A brief golfing lesson/session followed before the group headed back to the airport and home, all a lot more knowledgeable about the Yanmar name in Europe and how it operates. An enjoyable and informative few days all round.
A number of images were taken during the trip and these can be viewed by clicking the below link
Yanmar Factory Tour Images