New Arctic Cat owner Textron is making its first notable production and facilities moves, and so far the news has been good for Arctic Cat’s two hometowns. Very good, in fact. Arctic Cat’s Minneapolis corporate headquarters, however, will be closed.
The Thief River Falls Times/Northern Watch newspaper in Cat’s original hometown of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, is reporting this morning that Textron plans to move production of its Stampede UTV machines from Textron’s Augusta, Georgia, facility to the Cat manufacturing facility in Thief River Falls.
Furthermore, the quoted Textron official told the newspaper that engine manufacturing for Stampede models will be moved from the Textron-purchased Weber factory in Germany to the Arctic Cat engine manufacturing facility in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The paper doesn’t report the timing of either move, other than to say they will happen “soon.”
The additional manufacturing in Thief River Falls isn’t expected to add any jobs at that plant, but it will instead increase the seasonal production period – meaning more hours (and thus more money!) and less down-time for those working at the plant.
Related to the swank company headquarters in Minneapolis that Arctic Cat moved into less than a year ago, will be evacuated. The move affects 62 Cat employees, who will be given a number of options – including moving to offices at either St. Cloud or Thief River Falls.
When it moved in to the facility on which it directed major renovations, Arctic Cat signed a 13 year lease on the facility, so buying out of that lease likely won’t be cheap, but with many members of Arctic Cat’s top management let go as a part of the Textron transition, the building clearly wasn’t going to be used to its originally intended potential.