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Winnebago Shuttering Hampton Fiberglass Facility

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June 11, 2009 by   Leave a Comment

Winnebago Industries Inc. today (June 11) announced the closing of its Hampton, Iowa, fiberglass manufacturing facility, which primarily makes fiberglass components for motorhomes.
 
The majority of the production capabilities for fiberglass components will be shifted to Winnebago’s main Forest City facilities during the company’s fourth fiscal quarter, ending August 29.
 
The relocation reportedly won’t affect Winnebago’s customers or product offerings.

“Current market conditions continue to be challenging, necessitating further capacity reductions,” the northern Iowa corporation’s management states in a press release. “The company believes these actions will better position it for a business environment that it expects will continue to be challenging in the near future.”
 
“The decision to close the Hampton facility has been very difficult,” adds chairman, CEO and President Bob Olson.  “Unfortunately, it has become necessary to decrease our manufacturing footprint to reduce overhead expenses for the company. It is particularly difficult to lose valued employees. However, the wholesale and retail market for the company’s motorhomes continues to be very challenging, and it is important to downsize to market demand.”  
 
As a result of the closure, Winnebago expects to incur a non-cash impairment charge of $1.4 to $2.4 million on the facility in its fourth fiscal quarter. In addition, other associated out-of-pocket costs with the idling of the facility are estimated to be approximately $600,000.
 
Winnebago, according to a press release, will continue to evaluate the need for additional right-sizing measures in accordance with market demand.  
 
Winnebago Industries’ management met with the plant’s 40 employees today and will help coordinate employee support from state, regional and local agencies in an effort to assist with job placement, training and various other services and benefits available to dislocated workers, the release states.
 
“Although the current economic environment is extremely challenging,” Olson added, “we continue to believe we are in a strong financial position with sufficient cash and investment balances, no long-term debt and with the benefit of a respected brand known for its quality products.”

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