BRP to sell two U.S. plants, cut 800 jobs

MONTREAL – Snowmobile and personal watercraft maker Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. plans to cut 800 jobs, or about 11 percent of its work force, and put two U.S. plants that make outboard motor components up for sale, the Reuters news service reported in a story yesterday.

BRP, which makes Sea-Doo watercraft and outboard engines under the Johnson and Evinrude brands, said 600 of the job cuts will be in Canada, 100 in the United States and 100 outside North America.

The company said its plants in Delavan, Wis., and Spruce Pine, N.C., both of which make outboard motor components, are for sale. BRP said it is looking for buyers that will keep the plants operational and maintain a supplier relationship with the company, Reuters reported.

Of the 600 Canadian job cuts, 200 are permanent layoffs, 200 of the laid off workers could be recalled and 200 will be offered early retirement packages, the company said.

BRP said it had to take the measures to counter the effects of a surging Canadian dollar and rising commodity prices, including oil.

“The goal is to concentrate our activities on our core competencies, which are design and engineering, final assembly and the relationship with the market,” said Jose Boisjoli, president and chief executive, in the Reuters story.

The Canadian dollar has risen nearly 10 percent against the U.S. dollar over the past 12 months.

BRP’s plants in Valcourt, Quebec, and Sturtevant, Wis., will remain its two main manufacturing sites in North America, according to the story.

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