West Fargo, N.D.-based Bobcat Co. last week announced it will suspend manufacturing production in its Gwinner and Bismarck, N.D., facilities for six weeks, beginning Dec. 15, with operations resuming Monday, Feb. 2, 2009. These are the only Bobcat facilities affected. The six-week timeframe excludes a week of normal Bobcat paid holidays from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, 2009. This action comes as a result of current economic conditions, specifically the downturn in the housing market and crisis in the financial markets.
"Demand for all construction equipment has decreased substantially over the past several months," said Rich Goldsbury, president, Bobcat Americas. "Other industrial equipment manufacturers have made similar moves recently, including layoffs and the closing of plants."
The Gwinner and Bismarck Bobcat facilities have approximately 2,000 employees combined. Employees are expected to return to their jobs when manufacturing operations resume.
"By temporarily suspending production, we will give our dealer network an opportunity to move their current inventory before more machines make their way into the market," Goldsbury said. "Despite the current economic conditions, Bobcat continues to invest significantly in research and development of new technologies and machines to be ready for future demand."
The Gwinner facility manufactures Bobcat skid-steer, compact track and all-wheel-steer loaders. The Bismarck facility manufactures compact excavators, mini track loaders, and Toolcat utility work machines.