Deere & Co. recently acquired Equipment Savers, a Denver-based provider of on-site fueling and maintenance for all brands of heavy construction equipment. The business also operates in Phoenix, and Deere said it has the potential to become a national business.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Equipment Savers will be managed as an independent business reporting through Deere's construction and forestry division. Company president Tom Hutcheson will stay on as general manager and Equipment Savers' management team will remain with the firm.
In other Deere news, the company along with Yanmar Diesel Engine in Buffalo Grove, Ill., and subsidiary Kanzaki Kokyunkoki Manufacturing formed Transaxle Manufacturing of America, a joint venture that will manufacture transaxles for tractors and utility vehicles. The $35 million facility will be located in Rock Hill, S.C., and production is expected to begin in early 2003. The plant will employ about 150 people when it reaches full production.
In response to the economic slowdown, the company also announced it would shut down its Horicon Works plant, northwest of Milwaukee, for five weeks this fall. The majority of the plant's 1,200 production workers will be impacted as will an undetermined number of its 550 salaried workers, according to a company spokesman.
The shutdown is scheduled to take place from Sept. 21 to Oct. 28.
An estimated 316 workers have already been laid off from the plant. Those workers were expected to return in October although that will likely be extended to December at the earliest.
In June, Deere said it planned to cut its salaried workforce by 8 percent, or 1,250 workers, nationwide by the end of the year.