BRP moves PWC production to Mexico

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BRP is moving personal watercraft production from Canada to Mexico and shifting engine production to a new plant in Mexico, affecting about 500 jobs, the company announced in a statement Thursday.

Starting in 2013, BRP will expand its production capacity in Mexico by transferring engines currently being manufactured in Juárez to a new plant. PWC assembly will be transferred from Valcourt, Quebec, to the new plant.

In addition, BRP will assign the North American distribution of its parts, accessories and clothing to a logistics provider.

The transfer of PWC assembly to Mexico will enable BRP to be more competitive and it will free space on the main assembly line in Valcourt to increase roadster production and meet increasing demand, the company said.

The transfer of engine assembly to the new plant in Mexico will allow for increased production capacity in Juárez, which will help meet the fast-growing demand for all-terrain and side-by-side vehicles already being made in that plant, the company said.

By using a specialized firm to handle North American distribution, BRP said it will gain greater flexibility to meet the projected growth of its parts, accessories and clothing business and will reduce capital investment while improving customer service.

"Building a global multi-market business is an ongoing process,” president and CEO José Boisjoli said in a statement. “To remain a market leader, BRP needs to constantly challenge itself and adapt to change. This is not the first time that we change things at BRP; nor will it be the last. While we remain very much committed to our heritage and roots in Valcourt, we must become more flexible to leverage our growth opportunities."

About 500 employees will be affected by the decisions during the next 18 to 36 months, BRP said. The employees will be presented options that include positions within or outside BRP or retirement packages, greatly minimizing the number of layoffs, the company said.

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