- Ongoing drought cited for weak demand
- Deliveries to continue through month-long outage
- Relocated equipment to be installed during idle period
Briggs & Stratton Corporation will stop manufacturing activity temporarily at its plant in McDonough, Ga., in order to reduce inventory levels of lawn and garden products that are produced at the facility. “Market demand for lawn and garden equipment remains soft as a result of the ongoing drought that is affecting a large portion of the United States since May 2012,” the company stated.
Approximately 340 hourly workers and 200 temporary workers will be laid off beginning October 29. The closing is scheduled to end November 25.
However, Milwaukee-base Briggs & Stratton indicated shipments of products and service parts to its customers will continue throughout the idle period. Also, the company reported that during the shutdown the Georgia plant will have some equipment installed that has been relocated from Brigg’s now closed plant in Newbern, Tenn.
Earlier this year the company outlined its plan to close two manufacturing plants and reduce operations at a third site, citing falling demand for its outdoor power equipment. It is consolidating the Newbern and McDonough plants at the Georgia site. The Tennessee plant formerly manufactured walk-behind lawn mowers and snow throwers for the U.S. market, and had 240 regular employees and 450 temporary workers.
Briggs & Stratton produces gas-powered engines for outdoor power equipment, and through its wholly owned subsidiary Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group LLC — of which the McDonough is one operating unit — manufactures portable generators and pressure washers, and designs and manufactures standby generators, and lawn-and-garden and turf care products. The latter are marketed as Simplicity®, Snapper®, Ferris® and Murray® branded products.