- Subaru to Solely Focus on Cars, Ends Industrial Division
- Kyocera to Acquire Power Tool Business from Ryobi
- Mission, TX Scores Major Manufacturing Facility
- Stihl to Spend $25 Million on Headquarters Expansion
- Briggs & Stratton Corporation Wins Manufacturing Die Casting Award
- Billiou’s to Merge with Cantrell Turf Equipment
- Storms Bring Business for Generac
- Thoughts for the Day
- OPEI Announces 2018 Annual Meeting Details
- Cramer: How Stanley Black & Decker’s CEO Turned the Toolmaker into a Total Powerhouse
- Kubota Announces Plans for $87 Million Expansion in Kansas
- EDF Continues to Collect Donations for Victims of Hurricanes, Wildfires
- Make Plans Now for the OPEESA Annual Meeting-February 25-28, 2018
- Douglas Dynamics Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend
- Echo Completes Expansion of Corporate Headquarters
- Briggs & Stratton to Move Production from Japan to Plants in Statesboro, GA and Auburn, AL
Subaru to Solely Focus on Cars, Ends Industrial Division
Last year, Fuji Heavy Industries Inc. renamed itself as Subaru Corporation. Besides building cars, Subaru Corp. also manufactures construction equipment such as generators, pumps and similar products. Now however, the company has announced that they will stop production of construction equipment to focus on vehicle manufacturing.
Subaru did say that aftersales support will continue for the heavy industries division. Their announcement ends over 60 years of manufacturing heavy equipment. Besides that, Subaru also produced snow mobiles and all-terrain vehicles. While the announcement was made earlier this week, the company said they were no longer building non-automotive products since September 30, 2017.
“By concentrating management resources on Subaru’s core automotive business, the company will further reinforce its business structure in the aim of substantially enhancing the Subaru brand and achieving even greater sustainable growth,” said the official statement from Subaru Corporation.
Subaru has come a long way since it first started out in 1917. A century ago, the company we now know as one of the leading all-wheel drive automakers begun as an aircraft research laboratory. Under Fuji Heavy Industries Inc., Subaru was the biggest profit maker for the said conglomerate. 100 years later, Subaru has surpassed one million vehicle sales for the first time in its history. Subaru also has a slew of all-new cars coming in the near future, such as the Ascent, WRX and STI.
Kyocera to Acquire Power Tool Business from Ryobi
Kyocera Corporation has concluded a basic agreement as of September 29 to acquire 80 percent of shares of a company to be established from the company split of Ryobi Limited’s power tool business. Details of the company to be established have not yet been determined, but the acquisition is expected to be completed in January 2018.
Through the acquisition, Kyocera aims to promote diversification and further expansion of its cutting tool business.
Kyocera has continually been expanding sales in its cutting tool business on a global basis as one of the leading companies in the field after entering the market more than 40 years ago. Kyocera has been focusing its efforts on diversifying and expanding sales of products from its core of indexable tools to solid carbide tools, woodworking tools, as well as power tools for the construction industry. In particular, Kyocera has recently strengthened its power tool business in the U.S. and European markets through targeted acquisitions such as the acquisition of the Unimerco Group in Europe (now KYOCERA UNIMERCO A/S) in 2011 and the acquisition of SENCO Holdings, Inc. in August 2017 (now KYOCERA SENCO Industrial Tools, Inc.).
By acquiring the power tool business from Ryobi, which has a strong market position in Japan and Asia — encompassing a wide range of products with highly advanced technologies — Kyocera aims to take advantage of synergies with its relevant group companies in order to expand sales globally.
Mission, TX Scores Major Manufacturing Facility
A major economic development win for the city of Mission. Tool-making giant Black and Decker reportedly has signed a lease for a 270-thousand square-foot manufacturing plant to be located in an unnamed industrial park in Mission.
According to the McAllen Monitor, the city of Mission and Hidalgo County promised a total of $700,000 in tax incentives over five years to the company which will invest about $25 million into the facility. More than 400 jobs are expected to be created, although it is, as yet, unclear what will be manufactured at the Mission plant.
Stihl USA to Spend $25 Million on Headquarters Expansion
More than $25 million will be invested in a new administration building and other campus improvements. Construction of the state-of-the-art, 80,000-square-foot facility is part of the company’s commitment to continual investment in infrastructure projects in support of growing US operations, STIHL said.The new building will combine the Sales & Marketing, Finance & Controlling, Legal, and Customer & Technical Service teams under one roof. It will also house a brand experience and customer welcome centre.“STIHL Inc. has enjoyed strong year over year growth in our sales as well as our manufacturing operations,” said Bjoern Fischer, president of STIHL Inc., “While the current structure has served us well for the last 40-plus years, the new building will improve administrative operational efficiency allowing us to better serve our network of 9,000 independent servicing dealers and their customers.”Since its inception in 1974, the Virginia Beach STIHL Inc. facility has grown from a single, 20,000-square-foot rented warehouse, to more than one-million square feet of manufacturing and administration space on more than 150 acres. This growth has been strongly supported by STIHL’s positive, long standing, partnership with the City of Virginia Beach.“The City of Virginia Beach has been an ideal business partner,” added Fischer. “For over 40 years the city has continued to create a positive economic environment for manufacturers like STIHL, supporting our continued growth and expansion.”The groundbreaking is set for early 2018, with a target move-in date in 2019. Employees working in the current administration building will temporarily move to STIHL owned office space at the International Industrial Center (formerly Lillian Vernon). The worldwide STIHL Group, exports to over 90 countries and the majority of STIHL products sold in America are also built in America.
Briggs & Stratton Corporation Wins Manufacturing Die Casting Award
Briggs & Stratton Corporation’s reputation for innovative products has persisted throughout its 100+ year history, and the methodology spans beyond products to also include infrastructure and manufacturing processes. Recently, Briggs & Stratton was recognized for its improvement to the flywheel manufacturing process by The North American Die Casting Association’s (NADCA) 2017 International Die Casting Design Award.
Briggs & Stratton Corporation wins a Manufacturing Die Casting Award for its improvement to the flywheel manufacturing process.
The new flywheel cavity design incorporates a three-cavity die versus a two-cavity die improving machine capacity by 28%. This fully automated mechanization enhancement not only increased manufacturing productivity and efficiency but decreased the aluminum consumption reducing overall material waste.
“Every year NADCA recognizes significant advancements and leading innovators in the die casting industry and it’s an honor to win an award from this industry-leading organization for the third time,” said Dave DeBaets, vice president of global engine operations. “Our engineering and manufacturing teams collaborated extensively on the design and process to improve operations at our Murray, KY facility.”
For each entry category, there were four equally weighted criteria: ingenuity of casting and/or product design, overall quality, cost savings as compared to other manufacturing processes and the part’s contribution to expanding the market for die castings. NADCA has sponsored the competition for the last 44 years to showcase outstanding die cast designs and to acknowledge the continuous contribution die casters provide to the manufacturing industry.
“Briggs & Stratton continues to be a leader in innovation,” said Dave Rodgers, senior vice president & president of engines & power. “We’re continuously evolving our manufacturing expertise in new ways and embracing technology to achieve operational excellence and provide our customers a great product experience.”
About Briggs & Stratton Corporation:
Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE: BGG), headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is focused on providing power to get work done and make people’s lives better. Briggs & Stratton is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, and is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of power generation, pressure washers, lawn and garden, turf care and job site products through its Briggs & Stratton®, Simplicity®, Snapper®, Ferris®, Vanguard™, Allmand®, Billy Goat®, Murray®, Branco® and Victa® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents. For additional information, please visit www.basco.com and www.briggsandstratton.com.
Billiou’s to Merge with Cantrell Turf Equipment
Billiou’s Incorporated announced the merging of its business operations with Cantrell Turf Equipment (CTE) of Sacramento in a ceremony at their warehouse in mid-September. The event was attended by representatives from local business and government, as well as current and former employees, friends and business partners.
The move allows the Billiou family to transition into retirement after 70 years of continuous operation in Porterville, while retaining jobs and a local business presence for its employees.
Under the terms of the merger, CTE will lease Billiou’s warehouse facility, hire all of its staff, convert all of its inventory and assume operations. The business will be referred to as CTE Plus in the future. Owner John Billiou described the event as “quite a moment for the Billiou family,” as he summarized the history of the family business and explained the transition process to attendees.
The business was founded by Lawrence and Jean Billiou on April 1,1946 in a 280 square-foot building that served as a bicycle and baby buggy repair shop.
Over the decades, the family relocated, expanded and modified their products and services to suit the needs of the local economy. They moved to their current location on south Main Street in 1996, a 30,000 square-foot warehouse that distributes outdoor power equipment parts and supplies to dealerships throughout the Western United States.
The company has received many accolades over the years for their contribution to the local economy and their role within the community. In 1996, Billiou’s was awarded the Porterville Area Business Association Business of the Year, and in 2001 they were recognized by the California State Senate for excellence in business. They have also been recognized by Porterville schools for creating opportunities for workplace learning for local students.
John Billiou in turn credits the community for their success over the years, saying, “It was largely because of the support from the community and efforts from the City of Porterville, which is one of the reasons why this is such a great town, and also why we’ll never leave it.”
One of Billiou’s stipulations of the merger was that current employees and staff would remain in place under the new ownership. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we’ve done,” John Billiou said. “This is not a one man job — it’s a team effort involving a lot of hard work, and we cannot betray that loyalty.”
Current Billiou’s employees are optimistic about the new business plan, and are confident in CTE management.
“They (CTE) came down from Sacramento to see us. They like what we’re doing and how we work, so I think it’s going to be a smooth transition,” said Robert Roman, Billiou’s warehouse employee.
John Billiou assumed operations of the family business in 1989 with a “big appetite” for success. He describes his final move as head of operations as mutually beneficial for both Billiou’s and CTE. CTE’s operations are enhanced by Billiou’s line of products, and Billiou’s benefits from CTE’s sales force.
“When you have that kind of success in the discussion and everyone wins, you’ve got to take advantage of it,” said Billiou.
Founded by Bruce Cantrell in 1984, CTE is a distributor of outdoor power equipment products. They supply lawn and garden equipment to dealerships, hardware stores and rental yards in California, Nevada, and Utah. Like Billiou’s, they are a family-owned business.
In addition to continuing to provide products and services to Billiou’s existing customers, CTE plans to use the site as a new distribution point for their signature products, including the American-made Walker power mowers.
“We are very excited about the opportunities this presents because our products really complement each other and our business strategies work well together,” said Bruce Cantrell, owner of CTE.
John Billiou and his wife Brenda plan to spend their future time and energy on projects around their ranch, as well as spending time relaxing on the Central Coast. They also intend to stay very involved within the community.
“I’m looking forward to not being the tip of the spear,” said Billiou.
Storms Bring Business for Generac
As parts of the United States bear the brunt of major storms, Generac Power Systems is quickly hiring people to build generators and pumps for those affected.
The damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Nate has resulted in increased demand for generators. According to the Town of Genesee-based company, it has already increased production to ensure there are generators available for customers facing extended power outages.
“We have pre-staged inventory at distribution centers throughout the Southeast that has been shipping all week,” said Aaron Jagdfeld, president and CEO of Generac, in a statement Monday. “We are now sending additional units to be sure that everyone who needs a portable generator has access to one. We are doing everything we can to assure residents have safe, portable backup power right now. And the thoughts of all of us here at Generac are with the millions of Floridians in the path of this dangerous storm.”
In addition to making generators for people in Florida and Texas to use, Generac has sent people to physically help with recovery.
“We have also deployed disaster response teams to assist with service, parts and supplies. Those teams can service and repair nearly any brand of generator, and are made up of employee volunteers,” said Jagdfeld.
Those sent to storm-affected areas can work on all generator brands.
“For both Harvey and Irma we deployed storm response teams. These are teams of factory-trained technicians whose job it is to support our dealer and retail partners in the affected areas with the repair and service of generators of all kinds – not just Generac,” said Art Aiello, senior marketing communications/PR manager for Generac. “Our teams were in east Texas for about a week, and they left yesterday morning (Sunday) for Florida. They have a trailer and several vans full of parts, and we will direct them across the affected areas in response to dealer and retailer requests. They will stay down there for as long as they are needed.”
Aiello said it’s not known how long an increased demand for generators will last.
“Big storms like this tend to create a ‘new normal’ in terms of demand. By that, I mean that they result in a spike in demand that tends to stay at a higher level than it was before,” he said.
More information can be found online at www.generac.com.
OPEI Announces 2018 Annual Meeting Details
OPEI’s premier annual event will be held at Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa Coconut Point, in Bonita Springs, Fla., June 18-20. The meeting will feature two keynotes: Vivek Wadhwa, who was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers” and by Time magazine as one of the 40 most influential minds in tech, and Adam Steltzner, a NASA rocket scientist who led the team that invented the “sky crane” landing system that so spectacularly landed the Mars rover, Curiosity. Other sessions will focus on upcoming challenges posed by a new regulatory scheme in California.
Jim Cramer, Mad Money Host: How Stanley Black & Decker’s CEO Turned the Toolmaker into a Total Powerhouse
Mad Money” host Jim Cramer went over how Stanley Black & Decker buying Craftsman and selling its mechanical security division re-ignited the stock.
With stocks finally taking a break from rallying, CNBC’s Jim Cramer circled back to one out-performing stock that could be a buying opportunity on the market-wide weakness.
Stanley Black & Decker, which makes a variety of tools and some security solutions, just issued a strong quarterly earnings report that sent its shares soaring. So far in 2017, the stock has gained 42 percent.
“Look, you rarely get a chance to buy this stock into weakness,” the “Mad Money” host said. “What’s behind the strength at Stanley Black & Decker? When you dig down, the explanation’s pretty clear: the company’s been making some very shrewd moves with its product portfolio, the shrewdest of all being the acquisition of the Craftsman tool business from the moribund Sears Holdings.”
Cramer said that, while Stanley Black & Decker was always a steady performer, everything changed when James Loree became CEO in July 2016.
Shortly after Loree took on the role, Stanley Black & Decker bought Newell Brands’ tool business for $1.95 billion, bringing reputable industrial brands Irwin and Lenox on board.
“It’s a great business that Newell didn’t want because, remember, they’re trying to pare back their portfolio and embrace the consumer, but Loree and his team realized that these brands could really broaden the company’s reach,” Cramer said.
Then, in December 2016, the toolmaker sold its mechanical security arm to a Swiss company called Dormakaba for $725 million in cash. In early January, Stanley Black & Decker turned around and announced it would buy the Craftsman brand from the struggling Sears Holdings.
Stanley Black & Decker paid Sears $525 million up front for Craftsman, with another $250 million slated for the end of year three of the acquisition. The toolmaker also agreed to pay Sears between 2.5 and 3.5 percent in royalties for the next 15 years.
“This is one fabulous deal for this guys. It makes sense,” Cramer said. “Basically, Stanley Black & Decker sold their low-growth mechanical security division, which I really didn’t like at all, in order to pay for Craftsman. That’s an iconic American brand that could have tremendous growth now that it’s owned by someone competent.”
Since the Craftsman deal closed, Stanley Black & Decker’s management has been hard at work outlining its long-term strategy for analysts.
Loree detailed his 22/22 vision on the company’s investor day in May: Stanley Black & Decker aims to almost double its revenue to $22 billion by 2022.
The toolmaker’s latest earnings report improved Wall Street’s outlook on its business even more. Not only did Stanley Black & Decker beat the estimates, but management raised its full-year earnings guidance substantially, predicting 6 percent organic growth.
Better yet, the company announced on Tuesday that it would sell Craftsman tools at Lowe’s stores, which Cramer saw as just the beginning of the brand’s expansion under its new owner.
“Whenever I talk about how companies can transform themselves with a little self-help, this kind of transaction is exactly what I’m referring to. Around this time last year, Stanley Black & Decker was the kind of stock that puts investors to sleep,” the “Mad Money” host said.
But after Loree’s moves, Stanley Black & Decker has quickly become one of 2017’s top performers while still flaunting a fairly low valuation of 19 times next year’s earnings estimates.
“[Thanks to] James Loree’s terrific deal-making, Stanley Black & Decker has accelerated revenue growth and investors can’t get enough of it,” Cramer said. “I like this stock now that it’s pulling back after [Tuesday’s] huge run, but I’d like it even more if the current sell-off continues. Either way, though, the stock of Stanley Black & Decker? It’s a buy.”
Thoughts of the Day
Autumn, the season that teaches us that change can be beautiful.
Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.
Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.
Winter is an etching, spring watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.
Continue Wild is the music of autumnal winds amongst the faded woods.
“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.”
― Siobhan Vivian
Kubota Announces Plans for $87 Million Expansion in Kansas
Kubota Tractor Corporation, Grapevine, Texas, officially confirmed on October 21 its plans to plant solid roots in Kansas for its North American Distribution Center (NADC) by announcing the details of its letter of intent to purchase 203 acres near the company’s current leased facility in Edgerton, Kan. The company plans to design and build two 1-million-square-foot facilities to expand its distribution capacity and streamline logistics processes for the timely delivery of Kubota-branded service parts and equipment to its increasing customer base in the United States.
“After more than two years of operating in Kansas with such positive results, we are now confident about building more infrastructure here,” said Masato Yoshikawa, president and CEO of Kubota Tractor Corporation. “We’ve had access to an excellent workforce in the area, and we’ve built a quality team. Together, we’ve achieved operational efficiencies to better serve our dealers and customers, and we remain committed to growing and expanding to ensure we are equipped to support Kubota’s continued Midwest growth and overall North American expansion.”
In addition to the logistics facilities, Kubota also announced an additional commitment to its Midwest dealers and customers by establishing a fifth operational division and sales office in Edgerton. The new Midwest Division office will reside within the same complex as the parts and whole-goods operations, and it will provide an essential sales presence for Kubota in the heartland of America.
Mike Jacobson, a 17-year Kubota veteran, will be appointed as director and division manager of this new division effective Jan. 1, 2018, and he will lead the company’s efforts to expand its product offerings and markets in the Midwest.
“This expansion is a promising opportunity for Johnson County and the entire state,” said Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. “Kubota’s decision to expand so significantly here demonstrates firsthand that Kansas is a state that makes investment dollars worthwhile. Kubota already employs 150 Kansans in Edgerton, and the expansion could add another 150-200 on top of that. I’m so pleased about the growth and opportunity for Kansans this will bring.”
Kubota’s NADC will continue to receive and process shipments from Asia and Europe, in addition to a number of daily truckloads of goods from suppliers in North America. It will continue to be the worldwide source for many Kubota parts, which will be exported globally.
In late 2016, the company announced the 617,000-square-foot expansion of its National Distribution Center (NDC) in Jefferson, Ga. Jointly, the NADC in Kansas and NDC facility, located near Kubota’s manufacturing operations and their Southeast Division in Georgia, strengthen Kubota’s distribution capacity and infrastructure in North America to support its aggressive business growth. Like the NDC, the new Kansas facilities will increase the company’s capabilities to deliver the right products to Kubota dealers at the right time.
The new Midwest Division is an extension to the company’s existing divisional operation structure. The existing division offices are located in Suwanee, Ga.; Fort Worth, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and, Lodi, Calif., and they will continue to provide regional support to Kubota dealers.
EDF Continues to Collect Donations for Victims of Hurricanes, Wildfires
The number of natural disasters throughout North America this year has been striking. As such, the Equipment Dealers Foundation (EDF) has asked for an extraordinary amount of assistance from the agriculture industry. The EDF’s resources are used to benefit employees of equipment dealerships in two ways: workforce development in the form of scholarships and disaster relief.
In recent months, the Disaster Relief Fund has been utilized to provide financial aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Now, with wildfires in California displacing thousands of individuals, the EDF is once again requesting assistance. The Fund provides grant money to offset the financial demands on dealership employees who are affected by natural disasters. Grant money can be used for temporary housing, food, water and other necessities.
Gena Maldonado, office manager for Hlavinka, said the following about the financial support received by several of their employees: “The generosity of your company during this difficult time is very much appreciated…a lot of us suffered significant damage to our homes, along with different expenses due to the storm. Your kindness will not ever go unnoticed nor will it be forgotten.”
“We have been very fortunate this year to receive generous donations from many dealer members, manufacturers and industry partners,” said Joe Dykes, EDA’s VP of industry relations. “Unfortunately, the need has been so great that we’ve given out as much as we’ve taken in. We are hopeful that we can generate some new donations that can help us continue to be a source of positivity to those who have lost so much.”
All funds raised will go directly to assist equipment dealers and their employees. Donations can be made using the following pledge card: https://www.equipmentdealer.org/storage/app/media/EDF_Donation_Card.pdf
Checks should be made out to Equipment Dealers Foundation and mailed to:
Equipment Dealers Foundation
165 N. Meramec Ave., Suite 430
St. Louis, MO 63105
If you prefer to donate using a credit card, please call EDA’s office at (636) 349-5000.
Make Plans Now the OPEESA Annual Meeting – February 25-28, 2018
The OPEESA Annual Meeting will be held at the Westin Mission Hills Resort near Palm Springs, CA, February 25-28, 2018. We have a great roster of speakers, plenty of networking opportunities and social events. Following are the speakers and topics:
- Industry Update – Jean Hlay, President and COO, MTD Products
- The Current Presidency and it How Impacts You – Jade West, SVP – Government Relations, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
- What in the World is Going on in the World – Herb Meyer, Founder & President, Storm King Press
- The True Meaning of Value Added Selling – Paul Reilly, Founder and President, Reilly Sales Training
Trends and Issues That Will Impact Your Cash Flow-Millennials, Trump and Amazon.com – Gene Marks, Columnist and Small Business Expert
- Economic Update – Alan Beaulieu, Economist, ITR Economics
- The New Tax Laws and How They Could Impact Your Business– Roman Basi, Economist, MBA, CPA, President of the Center for Financial, Legal, and TaxPlanning
For OPEESA members, the forms were already mailed and available in the Annual Meeting section of the website. For others, if you would like to learn more, click here.
Douglas Dynamics Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend
Douglas Dynamics, Inc. (NYSE:PLOW), North America’s premier manufacturer and upfitter of work truck attachments and equipment, announced that its Board of Directors approved and declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.24 per share for the third quarter of 2017.
The declared dividend was paid on September 29, 2017 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on September 19, 2017.
About Douglas Dynamics
Home to the most trusted brands in the industry, Douglas Dynamics is North America’s premier manufacturer and up-fitter of work truck attachments and equipment. For more than 65 years, the Company has been innovating products that not only enable people to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively, but also enable businesses to increase profitability. Through its proprietary Douglas Dynamics Management System (DDMS), the Company is committed to continuous improvement aimed at consistently producing the highest quality products, at industry-leading levels of service and delivery that ultimately drive shareholder value. The Douglas Dynamics portfolio of products and services is separated into two segments: First, the Work Truck Attachments segment, which includes manufactured snow and ice control attachments sold under the FISHER®, HENDERSON®, SNOWEX® and WESTERN® brands. Second, the Work Truck Solutions segment, which includes the up-fit of market leading attachments and storage solutions for commercial work vehicles under the DEJANA® brand and its related sub-brands.
Echo Completes Expansion of Corporate Headquarters
Outdoor power equipment giant Echo Inc.completed the expansion of its corporate headquarters in Lake Zurich and is holding its official grand opening ceremony Friday, Sept. 15.
“This new corporate facility represents (parent company) Yamabiko Corporation’s confidence in our continued growth as our company evolves,” said Echo President Tim Dorsey. “While our core business remains within the landscape and arborist segments, we have grown in recent years with synergistic acquisitions and the introduction of product segments such as industrial generators. With our growth comes the need for a larger facility to house those expanding businesses,” he said.
Construction began during the second quarter of 2016. The addition adds 51,000 square feet to the company’s campus located at 400 Oakwood Road in Lake Zurich and is “a natural extension of the building already in place,” company officials said.
The addition is situated on 37 acres that hosts Echo’s corporate headquarters and manufacturing/distribution operations. The addition brings the total under roof compound to 585,000 square feet.
Echo sells it products to wholesalers, who then sell the products to about 6,600 independent dealers. Besides products for professionals, Echo expanded its consumer offerings after it partnered with Home Depot in 1994. Echo products are carried in stores throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
The majority of the new structure is built using architectural precast, steel and glass materials. The new building contains approximately 450,000 pounds of steel or enough to build about 200 cars. The precast concrete wall panels used for the structure would provide over ½ mile of sidewalk. The curtain wall glass and windows weigh more than 35,000 pounds, enough glass to make 84,000 16-ounce Coca-Cola bottles.
Approximately 16,700 cubic yards of dirt was moved to accommodate the structure, or nearly 2,000 semi-truck loads. The underground stormwater detention system holds 43,800 cubic feet of water, nearly half an Olympic swimming pool.<
The exterior features newly constructed sidewalks, curbs and planted trees to welcome employees and visitors. The new parking lot features 212 parking stalls.
Earlier this year, the company said it has 860 employees.
Premier Design + Build Group LLC was chosen to turn the company’s vision into a reality. This is the third major project Premier has constructed for ECHO over the last 17 years. Stephen Rankin Associates is the architectural firm on the project. Stucturelogic Inc. provided structural engineering expertise and Kimley-Horn provided civil engineering services.
Briggs & Stratton to Move Production from Japan to Plants in Statesboro, GA and Auburn, AL
Briggs & Stratton Corporation recently announced that it will move production of its V-Twin Vanguard™ engines from a joint venture partnership in Japan to its existing manufacturing facilities in Statesboro, Georgia and Auburn, Alabama. The increased production in North America will create approximately 50 new jobs at each of the facilities.
“Moving production of the Vanguard Small and Big Block V-Twin engines to the U.S. is another step in the execution of our commercial growth strategy,” states David J. Rodgers, senior vice president and president – Global Engines & Power. “We see this as a strategic competitive advantage because we can manufacture closer to our customers in the U.S., resulting in faster production times and faster shipping. I’d like to thank Daihatsu Motor Company for being a great partner for the past 30 years and for their continued commitment to assisting with a smooth transition.”
Briggs & Stratton has worked closely with state officials in Alabama and Georgia, as well as county and local officials in Auburn and Statesboro to ensure a collaborative transition and is grateful for the economic, employee development and training support made available from these communities. “I would like to extend our thanks to both the Alabama Department of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Economic Development for their overwhelming support, which has helped enable us to be competitive here in the U.S., and strengthen our communities by providing good paying jobs and training programs,” says Rodgers.
“Briggs & Stratton is a valuable, longtime member of Alabama’s business community, and the Company’s decision to expand its product manufacturing in Auburn is a testament to the strong partnership we have developed together over the years,” says Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. “I’m committed to creating an ideal environment for commerce and letting the world know that Alabama is open for business.”
“We’re proud that an industry leader like Briggs & Stratton has chosen to expand its facility and employment roster here,” says Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “With this expansion, Briggs & Stratton will continue to grow its presence throughout the Southeast, while creating meaningful opportunities in Bulloch County.