Mercury Marine, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is working on a pair of expansion projects that will add approximately 38,000 square feet to its 1.5 million square feet of manufacturing space in Fond du Lac.
Using the same shovel used 49 years earlier by the founder of the company, Mercury Marine President, Mark Schwabero, broke ground on the projects that are designed to provide the boat engine manufacturer increased capacity and capabilities.
The ceremony was a repeat of an event conducted in 1964 when Mercury founder E. Carl Kiekhaefer marked the start of construction of the facilities where Mercury engines are still designed and built.
"Two years ago we knew expansion would come, but we didn't know it would come this quickly,' said Schwabero. "This is good news. Mercury is growing, as you can see by these two expansions. Recovery from the downturn remains sluggish in the boating industry, but we're gaining share in certain segments, including large outboards. These facilities will lead to new product offerings and expanded market penetration.'
The total cost for both projects is approximately US $20 million.
Work at both sites has already begun. The projects are expected to be complete by December. New equipment, designed to maximize the capability of the newly constructed buildings, is scheduled to be installed by the end of 2013. Additional equipment installations are expected in 2014 and 2015 as well.
Mercury's increased market share helped create the need for additional manufacturing space. The projects consist of a 20,000-square-foot addition to Mercury's Plant 15 machining center to house next-generation horizontal machining equipment, and 18,000 additional square feet in Mercury's Plant 17 casting facility to house high-pressure die-cast machines.
Companies located in the Fond du Lac area or Wisconsin are performing approximately 90 percent of the project work. Mercury has partnered with Excel Engineering for architectural design and C.D. Smith for construction management.
Mercury currently employs approximately 2,900 people in Fond du Lac, up from 1,600 in 2009.