Briggs & Stratton announced today that it will move existing manufacturing from its Newbern, Tenn. facility to its McDonough, Ga. facility. The company will also close its Ostrava, Czech Republic plant, shifting production to the company’s Murray, Ky. facility. Also, the company will continue reducing capacity by reconfiguring and idling certain assets at its Poplar Bluff, Mo., 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%," says Todd Teske, chairman, president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton. "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.”
The Newbern 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, affecting approximately 240 regular employees and 450 temporary employees. The closing of the Czech Republic facility will affect approximately 77 regular employees. The company does not anticipate significant employment changes at its Poplar Bluff, facility.
Operations in Ostrava are expected to wind down by March 15, 2012 and Newbern are expected to wind down by approximately May 15, 2012.