The company behind the Woody’s brand of snowmobile traction products recently broke ground for an expansion that will add 12,000 square feet to its manufacturing facility in Hope, Michigan, by mid to late summer.
Family-owned International Engineering & Manufacturing, founded by Jim Musselman in 1968, posted images of the groundbreaking ceremony onto its social media sites on Wednesday, April 26. Eighteen masked folks ceremoniously posed behind five shovels for the photo, with heavy equipment poised behind them waiting for more serious action. Rick Tiede, the company’s marketing director, told us since then the ground work has already begun in earnest on the site.
In a press release, second-generation company president Rob Musselman explained the need for the investment.
“The expansion comes at a crucial time for our manufacturing efforts,” Rob Musselman said. “With growth in sales across the powersports industry the last few seasons, we needed to be pro-active in our preparation for the upcoming year.”
Indeed, the pandemic put a surprising charge into the powersports industry, with sales up significantly in snowmobiling and virtually every other notable outdoor recreation segment.
An early inventor of wear rods, push-through studs and other traction products for sleds (which has led to more than 25 patents in the U.S. and Canada), the company’s primary business remains the Woody’s aftermarket line with which most snowmobilers are very familiar. However, the company also produces OEM wearbars for most brands of sleds and have dabbled in other powersports segments as well.
The company currently employs 65 people in a a nearly 44,000 square foot facility and is bursting at the seems, Tiede said.
“The addition will increase our manufacturing facility to almost 55,000 square feet, allowing us to expand each division and ramp up production,” Musselman added.