MILWAUKEE – JANUARY 26, 2012 - Briggs & Stratton announced today that it will move existing manufacturing from its Newbern, Tennessee facility to its McDonough, Georgia facility. The Company will also close its Ostrava, Czech Republic plant, shifting production to the Company’s Murray, Kentucky facility. Also, the Company will continue reducing capacity by reconfiguring and idling certain assets at its Poplar Bluff, Missouri facility.
“We continually evaluate our manufacturing footprint as we consider productivity and efficiency gains along with changes in the markets we serve. Since 2004, the U.S. lawn and garden market has declined over 33%. This significant and prolonged market decline is unlike any other this industry has seen in decades. In addition, we have taken actions over the past year to reconfigure and reduce our capacity and costs at our Poplar Bluff, Mo engine plant. The actions announced today to consolidate our manufacturing footprint further, will better align our production capacity to the markets we serve,” continued Todd Teske. “It was a very difficult decision to close these production facilities; however, these changes are a necessary step in executing our strategy to grow the profitability of our business and invest our resources in high margin and margin expanding areas. We will make a dedicated effort to minimize the impact of these closings on our employees and the surrounding communities.”
The Newbern, Tennessee facility currently manufacturers walk behind lawn mowers and snow throwers for the U.S. domestic market. The Ostrava, Czech Republic facility currently manufactures small engines for the outdoor power equipment industry.
These changes will result in the closing of the Company’s facility in Newbern Tennessee, affecting approximately 240 regular employees and 450 temporary employees. Additionally, the closing of the Ostrava, Czech Republic facility will affect approximately 77 regular employees. The Company does not anticipate significant employment changes at its Poplar Bluff, Missouri facility. Where applicable, the company will provide assistance programs, continued benefits and outplacement services for the affected employees.
Operations in Ostrava are expected to wind down by March 15, 2012 and Newbern are expected to wind down by approximately May 15, 2012.