Outdoor power equipment maker Husqvarna announced in May of 2010 that it would close its plant in Beatrice, NE, by year's end and an article in the Beatrice Daily Sun reports that the workforce reductions will start in the next few weeks.
The Swedish-based company is consolidating North American manufacturing in South Carolina. The plant in Beatrice primarily manufactures zero-turn lawn mowers for the North American market.
Husqvarna was a part of appliance maker Electrolux until it was spun off in 2006. It was already one of the world's largest makers of outdoor power equipment. At the time it became an independent company it had just acquired North American lawn mower maker Dixon Industries and was in the process of adding the manufacturing of Dixon products to the Beatrice plant.
As of December 2009 the company was increasing staff in Beatrice as the economy improved and demand for zero turn mowers increased. However, 2010 saw the company reporting decreased sales and cutting cost worldwide. That meant bringing most North American production to its manufacturing facilities in South Carolina, near its North American headquarters. Husqvarna also closed a plant in Greece in 2010 and was reported to have restructured its organization in Belgium to cut costs.
Daily Sun Staff Writer Chris Dunker wrote that the Beatrice plant remains at almost 300 employees, but that layoffs will take place at the end of October, in mid-December, and on December 31. Dunker, who interviewed spokesperson Beth Wiseman of Husqvarna, reported that equipment removal will start in mid-December. Wiseman also said that an unspecified number of Beatrice employees were taking jobs with Husqvarna at two South Carolina locations. These included hourly, professional, and management positions.
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