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Bobcat brings compact excavator manufacturing to Bismarck
Published:2016-06-27 11:12:20    Text Size:【BIG】【MEDIUM】【SMALL

Bobcat Co. is bringing more manufacturing to Bismarck.

The company announced today that it will bring its compact excavator manufacturing to its Manufacturing Support Center at 530 S. 26th St. in Bismarck.

Laura Ness Owens, director of marketing for Bobcat, said it’s “an interesting time” in the industry. Customer demand has increased for the company’s “next generation” line and Bobcat needs more production space to meet that demand.

The excavators are currently manufactured in Gwinner, Ness Owens said. By moving that work to Bismarck, the company will open up more space in Gwinner for manufacturing its compact loaders.

“We are proud to be the market leader in compact equipment — and this move enables us to deliver our next generation of products to ensure that role long term,” said Laura Ness Owens, director of marketing for Bobcat Company. “Bismarck provides the resources, manufacturing space and greater capacity we need to remain successful in the growing and changing excavator market.”

The company expects to hire 160 employees in Bismarck.

Citing pressures from the global recession, Bobcat Co., shuttered its Bismarck manufacturing plant in 2009, cutting 475 jobs in Bismarck and moving about 275 of those to Gwinner.

In 2012, Bobcat announced plans for its Acceleration Center and the 50 jobs that came with it. The company’s compact attachment production also moved to Bismarck and what was then Menlo Worldwide Logistics, now called XPO, a partner of Bobcat, added 150 positions.

This time around, about 140 jobs will be eliminated in Gwinner and moved to Bismarck.

Ness Owens said the company expects many of those Gwinner positions to be eliminated through attrition. Employees will be able to apply for additional positions within the company and will be offered transitional assistance with the change.

The move will begin later this year and continue through 2017. Recruitment for the jobs will likely start in early 2017, Ness Owens said.

Doosan Bobcat will continue to employ about 1,460 people in Gwinner after the move.

“Gwinner is our home. We’ve been producing Bobcat products there for nearly 60 years, and we’ll continue to do so with current and future generations of compact loaders,” said Ness Owens. “We’ve made significant investments in Gwinner in recent years — and will continue to do so as necessary. Today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to continue as the market leader, while also remaining strong in North Dakota.”

Including the staff of XPO, Bobcat employs nearly 3,000 people across the state.

Ness Owens said XPO will continue its implement manufacturing and engine assembly work in Bismarck. It has not yet been decided whether the 160 new workers will work as XPO contractors or be employed directly by Bobcat.

To make the necessary space in Bismarck, the company is consolidating warehousing operations to an existing Bobcat facility in Otsego, Minn., starting this summer. About 40 XPO warehousing employees in Bismarck will be reassigned to new jobs within the manufacturing facility.

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