Briggs & Stratton to Consolidate Manufacturing, Close Plant
Briggs & Stratton Corp. has announced that as part of its effort to simplify its Snapper product line and consolidate its manufacturing to reduce costs, it will close its McDonough, Ga., location and consolidate production into existing facilities in Wisconsin and New York.
“While we have seen improved sales of our lawn and garden equipment during our fiscal 2014, in an effort to improve the operating performance of our Products business, we believe it is necessary to simplify our Snapper product line, reduce our offerings of certain low volume and lower-priced Snapper lawn and garden products and reduce the related manufacturing capacity and expenses,” said Todd J. Teske, chairman, president & chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton. “We will continue executing our strategy to focus on those premium products that generate higher margins and returns for our shareholders.”
The McDonough facility currently manufactures pressure washers, snow throwers, zero-turn lawn mowers and smaller lawn and garden tractors. Production of pressure washers, snow throwers and lawn tractors will move to Briggs & Stratton's Wauwatosa, Wis., manufacturing facility and production of zero-turn lawnmowers will be moved to its Munnsville, N.Y., site. Production is estimated to be completed in McDonough and transitioned to the other facilities during the first quarter of calendar 2015.
The changes will affect approximately 475 employees over the course of the next several months, the company said. Moving production of pressure washers, riding lawn tractors and snow throwers to the Wauwatosa facility will add approximately 220 new full time positions and up to approximately 150 temporary seasonal employees, Briggs & Stratton said. Employment at Munnsville is estimated to remain at current levels.
Dealer product offerings under the Snapper Pro, Simplicity and Ferris brands as well as sales of Snapper and Murray branded lawn and garden products at Walmart are unaffected by these announcements, the company said. Briggs & Stratton said it does not expect a material change in the sales or production volumes of engines as a result of the announcement.