Mercury has announced that it will begin moving its MerCruiser engine and drive assembly operations from its Stillwater, OK facility to its headquarters in Fond du Lac, WI. The transition of assembly operations is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2011.
“This won't affect our quality, delivery or distribution whatsoever,” says Steve Fleming, Mercury Marine's Communications Director.
Mercury is already engaged in moving its MerCruiser castings and machining operations from Stillwater to Fond du Lac, which is scheduled to be complete by early 2011.
“This is the final segment of our movement of the entire MerCruiser line production,” explains Fleming. “Because of the current downturn in the economy, we found that there was an underutilization of both facilities. We have about 1.5 million square feet of space here at our Fond du Lac headquarters and about 700,000 square feet of space at our Stillwater facility, neither of which was being used near capacity. We made the decision a year ago to move.”
Last September, Boating Business reported that the County of Fond du Lac announced its commitment of US $50 million toward an incentive-based low interest loan to Mercury Marine to convince Mercury not to move its manufacturing operations to another facility in Stillwater, OK. This was in addition to incentives offered by the State of Wisconsin and the City of Fond du Lac. According to Fleming, this played a factor in the company's decision.
“We considered moving our operations to Stillwater,” says Fleming. “Last year we received about $70 million dollars from the State of Wisconsin, $50 million from the county and $3 million from the City Fond du Lac. That played an element in the decision as well.”
Mercury Marine anticipates that the move of assembly operations will create an additional 200 jobs at its headquarters.