Bobcat to consolidate operations in North Dakota

Bobcat Co. has announced that it is discontinuing production at the company’s Bismarck, N.D., plant by the end of 2009. All North American machinery production will be transferred to Bobcat’s original manufacturing facility in Gwinner, N.D.

Over the next three months, 475 production positions will be phased out of Bismarck, but as many as 390 positions will be added in Gwinner to accommodate the consolidation. Bismarck will retain 150 positions across product engineering, finance, accounts payable and aftermarket parts — areas unaffected by the move. The Bobcat Manufacturing Support Center also will remain in Bismarck.

“This was a difficult decision because Bismarck has been a vital part of the Bobcat story for more than 30 years,” said Rich Goldsbury, president of Bobcat Americas. “But good companies adapt to change and this is a realignment that will best enable us to serve our dealers and customers moving forward.”

Currently, Bobcat mini excavators, the Toolcat utility work machine, the S70 skid-steer loader and mini track loaders are made in Bismarck, while all other Bobcat skid-steer loaders, compact track loaders and all-wheel steer loaders are manufactured in Gwinner.

Bobcat began producing machines in Bismarck as Melroe Manufacturing Co. in 1974 after the company acquired Bismarck-based Kirschmann Manufacturing, maker of the Spra-Coupe crop sprayer. AGCO acquired the Spra-Coupe line in 1998 from Ingersoll-Rand — Bobcat’s parent company at the time.

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