Briggs & Stratton announced on Jan. 27 that it will close its Newbern, Tenn. facility and shift production to its McDonough, Ga. facility. The Newbern, Tenn. facility currently manufacturers walk behind lawn mowers and snow throwers for the U.S. domestic market.
The company will also close its Ostrava, Czech Republic plant, shifting production to the Murray, Ky. facility. The Ostrava, Czech Republic facility manufactures small engines for the outdoor power equipment industry.
Additionally, at its Poplar Bluff, Mo. facility, capacity will continued to be reduced by reconfiguring and idling certain assets.
"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," said CEO 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.