BRP cuts production and workforce

VALCOURT, QUEBEC, Canada – In response to the hit taken by the powersports industry due to global economic recession, BRP is taking “conservative actions,” including reducing overall production volumes in the coming year by 20 percent, cutting expenses; and implementing major changes to the organization, it reported in a statement earlier this week.

As a result, some 550 white-collar jobs will be eliminated, 80 percent of which will take place this month with another 20 percent over the next nine months. BRP already laid-off some 370 bluecollar employees in its third quarter ended Oct. 31, and another 430 blue-collar employees have received temporary lay-off notices in the fourth quarter. This workforce reduction involves all BRP divisions, the company reported.

"These are very difficult decisions to make but we must take appropriate preventive measures considering the seriousness of the situation," said Jose Boisjoli, president and chief executive officer. "We believe these measures will reduce our costs and make BRP less vulnerable to drastic declines in revenues caused by events outside our control, such as the current crisis," he added.

Part of the change involves the creation of two new divisions responsible for product development and manufacturing. BRP said it will achieve this by:

  • Merging the engine divisions (BRP-Rotax and Outboard engines) into a new one called the "Powertrain" division, which will be responsible of the manufacturing and engineering activities of Evinrude and Rotax engines. The Rotax engines will continue to be manufactured in Gunskirchen, Austria and in Juarez, Mexico while the Evinrude outboard engine manufacturing will remain in Sturtevant, Wisconsin and in Dalang, China. The engineering departments in Waukegan and Gunskirchen as well as the new product development process including the procurement strategy for these brands will be integrated into this new division;
  • Creating the "Vehicle Development and Manufacturing" division, which will encompass the Valcourt and Benton plants as well as the Juarez plant with regards to the manufacturing of all-terrain vehicles. Moreover, all engineering services for the Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and Can- Am brands will be integrated into this new division, as well as the new product development process including the procurement strategy for these brands;
  • Creating a new "Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and Evinrude" (SSE) division regrouping the sales and marketing activities of the North American Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and Evinrude brands;
  • Creating the "Can-Am and Customer Service" (CCS) division, which will be responsible for the sales and marketing activities of our Can-Am products in Canada and the U.S. as well as the development of a worldwide strategy related to Parts, Accessories and Clothing (PAC) in addition to Customer Service and Dealer Support Network;
  • Focusing on innovation by maintaining its commitment to R&D, but at a reduced pace.
  • "We are confident these initiatives will help us come out of the recession a stronger company because this new structure provides us with the tools to focus on cost reductions, market strategies, product launches, product innovation and to maximize synergies in both the Vehicle Development and Manufacturing division and the Powertrain division," concluded Boisjoli.

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