Briggs & Stratton shifts production to cut costs

As of the 2016 lawn & garden season, Briggs & Stratton is trimming down on its production to help cut costs, which will include limiting its Snapper consumer lawn and garden equipment and consolidating its products manufacturing facilities.

The company will also close its McDonough, Georgia location and consolidate production into existing facilities in Wisconsin and New York. 

The production of pressure washers, snow throwers and lawn tractors will move to the Wauwatosa, Wisconsin manufacturing facility, and production of zero-turn lawnmowers will move to its facility in Munnsville, New York. About 220 new full-time positions and 150 seasonal jobs will be added at the Wauwatosa location; numbers will remain relatively unchanged in Munnsville.

Briggs & Stratton will continue its dealer product offerings under the Snapper Pro, Simplicity and Ferris brands. Sales of Snapper and Murray products at Walmart will also continue as usual.

"While we have seen improved sales of our lawn and garden equipment during our fiscal 2014, in an effort to improve the operating performance of our Products business, we believe it is necessary to simplify our Snapper product line, reduce our offerings of certain low volume and lower-priced Snapper lawn and garden products and reduce the related manufacturing capacity and expenses," said Todd Teske, chairman, president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corporation. "We will continue executing our strategy to focus on those premium products that generate higher margins and returns for our shareholders."

The changes will ultimately affect about 475 employees. Briggs & Stratton will be lending a hand through assistance programs, continued benefits and outplacement services.

The total cost of the restructuring is estimated to total $30 million to $37 million; the annual cost savings are estimated to be about $15 million to $20 million.

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